Chicago’s recycling practices are abysmal. I always knew it, but it became even more apparent to me after we moved back from Berkeley. One of the major issues is that the city chooses not to enforce what’s known as the Burke-Hansen ordinance, stating that landlords of buildings with 5 or more units must contract with a refuse hauler to collect recycling. (Smaller multi-unit buildings are served by the city’s recycling collection service)
I’ve teamed up with Claire Micklin and a few others at Chicago’s Open Government Hack Night to create a web application which will allow residents to submit reports of landlord non-compliance. In Claire’s words:
The data will help us to visualize reports of recycling noncompliance and provide a hub for residents of multi-unit buildings and other Chicago residents to have a collective voice in favor of more comprehensive recycling services. Once there are a significant number of reports our group can begin to use these reports to show elected officials a rough estimate of how many multi-unit buildings are not providing recycling services. Our group plans to use the visualizations as a tool for advocacy and to push for the strengthening and enforcement of the Burke-Hansen Ordinance.
We’re still testing the app and haven’t yet released it to the public, but I will announce here when we do. In the meantime, here’s a screenshot (ooh, sexy…)