Thursday, October 20, 2005

CRC Steps in Where City Goofs Up

I got a postcard in the mail two days ago inviting me to come see the Chicago Recycling Coalition's new, beefed-up website.

I must say it's not a moment too soon. This city desperately needs a credible, one-stop resource for recycling information and a widely-heard public advocate for the cause. To date, the Coalition, grass-roots effort that it is, has seemed to be the one-woman Betsy Vandercook show.
And, I mean that in the best possible way.

It's not easy gaining traction on an issue the mayor would prefer to avoid or address superficially. Thankfully, it seems whenever the subject comes up, Besty has been there to hold up the pro-recycling end of things. (See here, here, and here.) We're lucky to have her. And, to the extent this enhanced website signifies a growing step for the CRC, that's good news as well.

The site tells you where you can recycle just about everything, and they watchdog the city's problematic blue bag program. I was disappointed to see that some of the most important components of recycling (buying recycled products, the discussion of reuse and resale, and composting) got lumped under the title "Extreme Recycling," which to me implies that everyone but the super-serious-recyclers are off the hook for doing those things. Composting is extreme? I don't think so. They probably should re-think that headline.

Nonetheless, all you really need to do is pop over to some of the city's recycling web pages to see what a necessary resource CRC's site is. Or, you can try calling 311 the next time you have a recycling question. Like the IRS, they get the answers right only about half of the time.

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