FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a new amendment to the Chicago Municipal Code today that facilitates site cleanups, discouraging illegal dumping and helping ensure healthier, cleaner neighborhoods across the city.
The amendment allows property owners with proper equipment to crush and reuse useable debris, such as concrete, onsite. Current City Code only allows materials originally generated onsite to be reused, while materials generated offsite must be hauled away. This change will hasten clean-ups and also encourage additional recycling. By making it easier for property owners to comply, it will also help decrease illegal dumping – often done when materials cannot be automatically reused onsite.
“This is good news for property owners and good news for our neighborhoods,” Mayor Emanuel said. “By making it easier for developers and owners to recycle materials on site, we are helping make clean-ups both faster and better, improving neighborhoods across Chicago.”
“This amendment not only encourages recycling, it discourages illegal dumping by providing a simple, safe and legal alternative,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D. “By decreasing illegal dumping, we are helping to ensure the safety and health of children and residents around Chicago.”
Illegal dump sites endanger public health, the environment and local economies. They attract rats, create a breeding ground for mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile Virus, pose hazards to children playing nearby and decrease property values. The presence of discarded waste on an abandoned site also attracts additional illegal dumping.
Furthermore, allowing site owners to reuse appropriate existing material will reduce truck emissions and truck miles, facilitate greener cleanups and encourage the cleaning and development of historically neglected sites.