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Rendering of the proposed Chicago zero-waste marketplace called Zaste. (Courtesy of Zaste)

Buying in bulk and hunting down package-free items can be a challenge that often requires trips to multiple stores. To make sustainable shopping more accessible, two Chicago sisters plan to open a zero-waste marketplace by spring 2020.

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(Kevin Gessner / Flickr)

A team led by several Chicago-area researchers has developed a new method to “upcycle” single-use plastics into a number of commonly used products, such as motor oils, detergents and cosmetics. 

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Chicago sustainability advocate Stephanie Katsaros

In many ways, modern American life is set up for convenience and speed – and that can generate a lot of garbage. What you can do at home to reduce your waste output.

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A gorilla at Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Joe McKenna / Wikimedia Commons)

Mining for coltan, a mineral compound used to make cellphones and other small electronics, has displaced large numbers of Eastern gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

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(mali maeder / pexels)

On average, people in the U.S. generate 220 pounds of plastic waste each year, even though much of those materials could be recycled. Here’s the lowdown on the types of plastic that can and can’t be recycled. 

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(Irene Tostado / Chicago Park District)

Trees collected through Chicago’s annual holiday tree recycling program are turned into mulch and wood chips for use at Chicago Park District locations. 

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(Brian Johnson and Dane Kantner / Flickr)

Chicago’s recycling woes have been well-documented, but a new report shows that at least five other cities in Illinois are failing to meet average U.S. recycling rates.

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(jokevanderleij8 / Pixabay)

A bill signed into law this week seeks to incorporate composted soil into state-funded landscaping projects. 

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The SamurAI sorting robot, manufactured by Canada’s Machinex Technologies. (Courtesy Lakeshore Recycling Systems)

Chicago-based Lakeshore Recycling System is the first company in the U.S. to install a new “self-aware” machine that sorts through recycled materials. 

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(Pixabay)

Public and abandoned properties in the Chicago area might appear a little less cluttered. The Illinois EPA collected 598.5 tons of used tires in December as part of a state program to mitigate hazards associated with them.

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Confused about when the city makes blue cart pickups? You can now look up recycling and garbage pickup schedules online as Chicago looks to boost its dismal recycling rate. 

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Empty yogurt cartons, peanut butter jars and pizza boxes: How clean do they need to be in order to toss them in your recycling bin? Chicago’s recycling staff has answers.

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As Chicago looks to boost recycling rates, Chicago Tonight explores the city's recycling program up close—and with numbers. 

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Chicago’s recycling rate is among the lowest in the country. What the city is now doing to try to change that.

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A worker at Lakeshore Recycling Systems in Forest View. (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

What happens to Chicago’s recycling after it’s hauled away from neighborhood alleys and sidewalks? We tour a massive processing facility and watch sorting in action.

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(Monterey Regional Waste Management District)

Legislation proposed this week in the Illinois Senate would require electronics manufacturers to pay for permanent recycling drop-off sites set up by counties.

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