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CCDES is a member of the Illinois Recycling Contamination Task Force, a group that addresses pressing recycling issues throughout the state. To answer specific recycling questions, the task force has launched the Dirty Dozen Campaign.
At home or work when you are getting ready to recycle those everyday items, such cardboard, bottles, cans or jars, remember to throw away anything with food residue.
Cardboard – You can recycle cardboard, but cardboard with any food residue or grease is a no go. Put your greasy cardboard in the trash because that residue creates contamination in the paper recycling. Putting this type of cardboard in the recycling process can cause an issue for the entire load of cardboard.
Paper towels, plates & napkins – Innocent-looking paper smeared with food or grease cannot be processed with clean paper and can ruin a new product if not caught before the bale heads to the paper mill. Do not place these in the recycling bin.
Liquids – Do I need to wash my bottles, cans & jars before placing them in the recycling bin? No, just give your cans, bottles and jars a quick rinse. Leaving residue in these items causes issues inside your recycling bin and at the recycling center. Nobody wants a sticky recycling bin or floor.
Food –NO FOOD in the recycle bin. Any food you need to dispose of must be placed in the trash, down the garbage disposal (if your home has one) or composted. Composting is a process that breaks down food scraps and other organic materials into an earthy soil amendment. To start composting and for more information about composting, visit http://illinoiscomposts.org/resources/.
Recyclable items can quickly become garbage when they carry the remnants of the food and other contaminants that they once held.
THINK BEFORE YOU PUT IN THE RECYCLING BIN:
- Recycle Clean Cardboard – Nothing with Food Residue
- Recycle Clean Paper – No napkins, paper plates, paper towels or tissues.
- Start Composting – No food or liquid in the recycle bin.
A Message from the President
I believe that Cook County should be a world-class model of sustainability. We are working not only to boost sustainability practices throughout County government, but also to join forces with local governments, nonprofits and business, to accomplish more than we could separately in making each of Cook County’s communities sustainable. To further this work, I appointed Deborah Stone as the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, and as Director of the Department of Environmental Control. I also recognize that Cook County needs to share ideas and collaborate with a diverse group of community leaders and sustainability experts. In March 2012, I appointed the Cook County Sustainability Advisory Council to help lift our vision higher and give us access to best practices. You can meet the Council members and read more about their mission in the “Advisory Council” section of this website. Toni Preckwinkle,Cook County Board President
What is Sustainability?
" Ensuring that there is enough for today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."Deborah StoneChief Sustainability Officer, Cook County Government
Contact UsCook County Chief Sustainability Officer
69 W Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
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