It begins...

So, as of today I am officially taking on my condo association about their lack of a recycling program. What follows is a letter I wrote to them about the letter (I think it's polite and to the point). Updates on the situation will follow if anything happens or, for that matter, if anything doesn't. I fully intend to be a pain in the ass until someone listens.

Dear Condo Board –

I am writing to you about something that has concerned me for quite some time, namely ***** Loft’s lack of a recycling program. Since we moved into our unit about three years ago, there has been talk about how our association is considering options and will be getting something in place ‘soon.’ Eventually this talk (and even the signs about it on our floor’s trash room) has disappeared. Does this apparent lack of discussion mean that a plan has been made, or does it mean that the whole matter is on the back burner? Currently I am forced to haul my recyclables to work every day on my back while biking in to work; it’s not really a big issue because doing the chore every day keeps the amount low. However, when we do things like entertain guests and go through some cases of beer, I wind up throwing all those bottles out because I don’t exactly feel it’s appropriate to being that kind of waste into my work place. I have a feeling that efforts like mine are in the minority in the building, and that most of the recyclable waste goes straight down the trash chutes, and into landfill; that’s an awful amount of mess for one building that could be routed to other use.
Is there any way that we’re going to see something happen on this any time soon? The Chicagoland area has a wide variety of options that could be explored in terms of waste management and recycling; it really is our civic responsibility to do something about reducing our waste. Beyond that, residential buildings with five units or greater are required to offer a recycling program to its occupants; this info is accessible by just google searching ‘city of Chicago residential recycling,’ clicking on ‘multi-unit buildings’ under residential recycling, and reading that page. For your convenience, I will quote the page here directly:

“If you live in a building of five units or greater, you are serviced by a private waste hauler, which is mandated by law to recycle applicable materials. Your building management is also required to offer you an effective recycling program, which is defined by three things: source reduction and separation, an education program and a written recycling plan.”

I hate to be the squeaky wheel, but this is something that has bothered me since we moved in, and I have grown impatient with waiting around to see our association do anything about it; I would much rather my assessment fees go to something like this that matters in the long run, rather than re-blacktopping the parking lot. Please give the matter some serious consideration.

Here are some good sites to check out:

The Resource Center of Chicago - www.resourcecenterchicago.org - This company will arrange residential pickup, and guarantees that 90% of their waste actually is reused. They have been active in the Chicago area for 30 years and are very well-respected.

Chicago Recycling Coalition – www.chicagorecycling.org – this site offers some great tips and ‘how to’s’ about residential recycling.

Finally, please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help this process move along; it’s one thing to voice a complaint, but it’s another all together to try to actually do something about the matter to help change be made. Feel free to email me blah@blah.com with any questions, suggestions, or responses you might have.

Sincerely yours,

Lisa L*****, #***


Cycling Phun said...

Word... way to go. We had recycling where I live, and it got to be so expensive that they were talking about doing away with it. They wound up adding recycling drop off points on account the community spoke up. All it takes is one voice to start something, once you get the dialog started the negotiation is easy... usually. GOOD LUCK! Can't wait to hear how it goes.

yeahdog said...

Thanks for the well wishes. I think someone may have tried to stop by Saturday morning, but I was in full-on, slothful sleeping in mode and didn't want to answer the door in my PJs! At least that may be a sign that I got someone's attention. Local drop-off points would be great if I could get that at least. The thing that irks me is that buildings like mine are required by Chicago law to provide these services, yet few do.
Anyway, I'll keep you posted!