One of the more frustrating parts of being a South Side Chicagoan is lack of access to recycling. I speak from experience. As a South Sider without a car, it's been impossible for me to get recycling to a drop-off station, and now the city's much-criticized Blue Bag program has been discontinued, with only a handful of neighborhoods involved in the new Blue Cart recycling effort.
Things would be much better if I lived even further south, in Auburn Gresham. Last spring the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation kicked off a one-square-mile Litter Free Zone, which includes both door-to-door and curbside recycling. They got way ahead of the city's curve, which had Auburn Gresham slated to begin recycling until 2011. So far they've collected more than 65,000 pounds of recyclable materials.
According to this recent article at the GADC website, the Shedd Aquarium came down for a visit and is thinking about how to take the idea and work it into their own community partnerships.
Perhaps there some wisdom in here for the Obama administration to consider when thinking about green-collar jobs and neighborhoods.