Chicago’s black and blue carts have been the city’s waste management workhorses. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago generates more than 4 million tons of material waste annually. A new, highly anticipated report recommends a number of strategies aimed at keeping more of that trash out of landfills.

Mount Recyclemore G-7 leaders: Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Yoshihide Suga of Japan, Emmanuel Macron of France, Mario Draghi of Italy, Justin Trudeau of Canada, Angela Merkel of Germany and Joe Biden of the U.S. (Courtesy of musicMagpie)

The towering sculpture, constructed near the site of this weekend’s G-7 summit, sounds the alarm about the growing problem of electronic waste.

(WTTW News)

The Department of Streets and Sanitation is turning a page on its beleaguered Blue Cart recycling program, issuing the first new collection contract in nearly a decade. Recycling advocates are cautiously optimistic about the change.

Unlike plastic, corrugated cardboard is highly recyclable. The Fibre Box Association says the industry’s recovery rate hovers around 90%. (WTTW News)

The pandemic has led to a surge in demand for all kinds of shipping materials — especially corrugated boxes, commonly used for e-commerce items and many other goods. We explore how the “box boom” is being felt across the region.

(WTTW News)

Less than 9% of the trash produced every year by Chicago residents is kept out of landfills — a rate that has not budged for four years. 

Urban Growers Collective maintains a herd of 17 goats at its South Chicago farm. (Courtesy of Urban Growers Collective)

Where humans see a messy pile of dried needles, goats see a tasty meal. The herd at Urban Growers Collective’s South Chicago farm can dine for weeks on recycled Christmas trees.

(WTTW News)

At some point, Christmas trees get brown, the needles fall off, and it’s time for them to go. But that doesn’t necessarily mean tossing your tree in the trash.

Christmas trees. (Lisa Fotios / Pexels)

Starting Jan. 9, you can drop off your tree for recycling at one of two dozen Chicago parks. Here’s everything you need to know.

(Erich Röthlisberger / Pixabay)

The city is not doing enough to ensure that residents of large apartment complexes and businesses keep recyclable glass, paper and aluminum out of landfills, according to an audit released Wednesday by the city’s watchdog.

Metal scrap. (Public Domain Pictures / Pixabay)

While awaiting the city’s verdict on its permit application to start up a metal shredding and recycling operation on the Southeast Side, Reserve Management Group is in the process of acquiring another metal recycling business in Humboldt Park. 

(M W / Pixabay)

Pumpkin Smash events are taking place Saturday throughout the Chicago area as part of an effort to keep the hefty Halloween jack-o’-lanterns out of landfills. 

(WTTW News)

Between 8% and 9% of the trash produced every year by Chicago residents is kept out of landfills, officials said Friday — acknowledging that the city’s efforts to boost Chicago’s recycling rate remain stalled.

(WTTW News)

Longtime Chicago Ald. Roman Pucinski once said, “There’s nothing as crucial to an alderman as garbage.” So how did garbage cans become a source and symbol of political power in this city? Geoffrey Baer talks trash.

Masks aren't recyclable. (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control / Flickr)

Sanitation crews have been seeing a surge in coronavirus-related items placed in recycling bins. They belong in the trash.

(Kate Ter Haar / Flickr)

In the war against plastic pollution, Illinois legislators just announced a new battle plan that would tackle the problem from multiple angles.

The WasteShed in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. (WTTW News)

When it comes to recycling, Chicago doesn’t have the best track record. But one nonprofit on the city’s West Side is working to change that – and in the process, offer a wide range of art supplies and materials at an affordable price.