Lake Shore Recycling will collect blue recycling carts with less than 50% contamination in four of Chicago’s six recycling regions, under a three-year, $79.6 million contract authorized by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration. LRS was the lowest of four bidders for the long-awaited contract. But that’s not the only reason it won the high-stakes competition.
Lake Shore Recycling also has “more recycling assets than any other company in the Chicago area, including a state-of-the-art, single-stream recycling facility that can sort cardboard, mixed paper, glass, steel, other metals and plastics,” according to City Hall.
“The contract allows for penalties for missed collection and has a greater clarification around contamination. We believe these will help improve recycling rates,” Streets and Sanitation Commissioner John Tully was quoted as saying in a press release.
“As part of DSS commitment to improve recycling rates, LRS will collect recycling with less than 50% contamination. This will ensure that more waste is getting recycled,” the press release states.
Recycling contracts with Waste Management and SIMS Metal Management that expired years ago, only to be extended repeatedly a year at a time, were finally re-bid last year. Lake Shore will now replace those two companies, under a three-year contract that includes rigorous reporting requirements and penalties from $25 to $250 for every missed pickup.