Wednesday, March 15, 2006


New Chicago Law Pushes Contractors To 'Go Green'
Staff Writer, News-Star, March 15th

A sweeping building materials recyling ordinance that took effect Wednesday, March 1, appears to be a "win/win" for both the environment and everyone else involved according to a sampling of community leaders, aldermen and builders and demolition contractors.

The ordinance, which applies to residential buidings of four or more units and non-residential buildings of more than 4,000 square feet, requires contractors to salvage and recycle at least 25 percent of construction materials including concrete, asphalt, bricks, wood, drywall, and scrap metal.

After Jan, 1, 2007, the percentage goes up to 50 percent, a Chicago Department of Environment spokesman said. Contractors who fail to comply are liable to pay fines between $500 and $1,000, city officials said.

According to Environment Commissioner Sadhu Johnston, more than 1.4 million tons of construction steel, 615,000 tons of concrete and brick and 122,000 tons of wood were recycled from construction and demolition sites during 2003, the last year for which complete figures are available.

To help contractors learn what they need to know to complhy with the ordinance, the Department of Environment will hold free seminars from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, April 3, Tuesday, April 25, Tuesday, May 23, Tuesday, Sept. 19, and Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento. For more information or to register, call (312) 746-9642.

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