Reduced Waste & Industrial Pollution

Few Chicagoans ever see where the city's waste goes, yet an estimated 3.4 million tons of our waste (62 percent of Chicago’s total waste) winds up in landfills every year. We must reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.

A “Three R” initiative – reduce, reuse and recycle – is one way to achieve this goal. It is essential that both individuals and businesses join in the effort, and there are many opportunities to do so. The payoff will be significant: a 90 percent reduction in waste trucked to landfills by the year 2020 could net about a .84 MMTCO2e drop in emissions.

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1. Reduce, Reuse or Recycle

Reduce, reuse and recycle 90 percent of the city’s waste by 2020 = .84 MMTCO2e reduction*

2. Shift to Alternative Refrigerants

Promote use of alternative refrigerants in air conditioners and appliances = 1.16 MMTCO2e reduction*

3. Capture Stormwater on Site

Manage stormwater with green infrastructure = .1 MMTCO2e reduction*

*MMTCO2e (million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent) is the term for the quantity of any greenhouse gas, including carbon dioxide, methane and others, translated CO2 by weighing it by its relative global warming potential. A reduction of 1 MMTCO2e is equivalent to removing nearly 185,000 cars from the road.


Reduced Waste & Industrial Pollution Consultants:

Boston Consulting Group

Julia Parzen


Stormwater Management Working Group

Chicago Park District

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

Chicago Transit Authority

Public Building Commission

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City Seal

Civic Consulting Alliance