Cook County’s Department of Environment and Sustainability is taking the opportunity to remind residents about ‘recycling right’ as part of America Recycles Day.

One in four items placed in recycling carts is not recyclable, according to the recycling industry. This increases contamination which slows down recycling sorting facilities, reduces prices received for recycled commodities and increases costs for local governments and residents.

To tackle recycling contamination, Cook County is participating in a statewide task force to educate residents about what items should and should not be placed in recycling carts.

“Sustainable communities are a key goal for Cook County,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “We are asking everyone to help get the word out to get the greatest benefit from our recycling programs.”

The Recycling Guidelines are available on Cook County’s website: http://blog.cookcountyil.gov/sustainability/2018/11/14/recycling-guidelines/.

Cook County is responsible under state law for developing a solid waste plan for suburban Cook County. Our current plan calls for the county to establish a working group with haulers, material recovery facilities and municipalities, to create an accurate list of recyclable products and a simple unified message.  The Recycling Guidelines released today are in fulfillment of that promise from our Plan.  In addition, the Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability (DES) inspects and regulates waste and recycling facilities and liquid hazardous waste generators within the County.