Subscribe to RSS

Lifestyle back to homepage

Lincoln Park Chicago mental health facility Clayton Residential Home struggles with lack of Illinois state budget Lincoln Park Chicago mental health facility Clayton Residential Home struggles with lack of Illinois state budget(0)

August 13, 2015

2026 Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
By: ahermans

“There’s no way that we could exist without a budget,” worried Jessica Lyke, the executive director of Clayton Residential Home, a specialized mental health and rehabilitation facility (SMHRF) for adults with mental illness.

Illinois recently entered its second month without a state budget; state lawmakers failed to approve a balanced budget before the start of the 2016 fiscal year on July 1. State funded programs like Clayton will still receive funding for the next couple months, only because the state is behind in sending payments to the facilities. But beyond that, everything is uncertain.

On Tuesday, August 4, the Illinois Senate approved a plan that would free up nearly $5 billion for various programs affected by the budget stalemate, including, among a long list of other items, SMHRFs. After some amendment, it was approved by the House on Wednesday, and must go back through the Senate before making it to Governor Rauner’s desk.

But this plan still only constitutes temporary relief for some facilities. If no permanent budget is put in place, funding to many state programs could stop altogether. If a budget is passed, there is no guarantee that Clayton will get the funding it needs. Governor Rauner’s original proposed budget would cut $82 million from the Department of Human Services’ Division on Mental Health, as well as $1.5 billion from Medicaid.

“Right now the governor wants to give us zero,” Lyke said. “He wants to cut us out of the budget.”

Clayton provides specialized programming and 24-hour care for more than 200 people with severe mental illnesses, about 5% of the mentally ill population in Illinois. Its activities encourage residents to learn about their illnesses, treatment options, and wellness. It also provides practical skills to help residents stabilize and re-enter the Chicago community. Residents have the opportunity to participate in more than 45 different groups including therapy sessions, cooking and laundry classes, and expeditions around the city.

“There’s a lot of focus here on recovery and wellness, instead of trying to focus on illness and symptoms and problems,” said Lyke.

Clayton resident Marion Gates participates in the cooking group.

“Some of the things that we provide are required by the state law,” said Lyke, including nursing, dietary, and security standards. “What Clayton does… is go well beyond what the state requires, and that obviously costs money.”

Lyke said that Clayton has six employees with clinical licenses, though the state does not require any. Their specialty programming, including the groups and activities listed above, are not specifically required by the state, but are things Lyke believes are essential to the residents’ experience at Clayton.

“Those are things that we’re very committed to keeping, but obviously if we don’t have money, those will be the things that will eventually have to go,” Lyke said.

Arnie Kanter, the senior director of external affairs for Barton Management, the parent group that oversees Clayton and several other facilities, pointed out that their care model is more cost effective than alternatives. The state pays Clayton $110 a day total, compared to the approximately $800 a day that an emergency hospitalization would cost for each patient. With this money, Clayton is able to provide much more personalized and comprehensive care than hospitalization. Other alternatives, such as nursing home placement or time in jail, also cost the state money.

“We become not only a programmatic effective facility, but also a cost effective facility,” Kanter said. “Everyone understands that folks with mental illnesses are high utilizers of services.”

Through peer and administrative support, each Clayton resident gets personalized care to match their needs and wellness goals.

“No two people with schizophrenia look alike, no two people with depression look alike,” Lyke said, adding that oftentimes residents have never had a chance to fully learn about their illness and symptoms before Clayton. “It’s really an opportunity to sit down and take that individualized approach with somebody and help them figure it out.”

The administration at Clayton and at other SMHRFs across the state are worried about whether they can continue providing these extensive services, which they see as essential, in the face of the budget impasse. In May, Clayton staff put together a YouTube video to help raise awareness for their facility, show what it means to its residents, and ask the community for help.

“I’m getting day-to-day support, I have people I can trust and turn to in times of trouble, and I average about 2 hospitalizations every 3 years now, as opposed to one every two weeks,” said Andy S., a Clayton resident, in the YouTube video.

People like Andy rely on Clayton for the support that they need to survive. If the facility shuts down, its 200 residents will have limited options. Some will wind up in nursing homes that are not equipped to care for their illnesses and where they will be a disturbance to other nursing home residents. Some will move back in with their families, who seldom have the time or know-how to support their loved ones. Others will end up on the streets, and could easily fall victim to crimes or be picked up by the police. Residents and their families are terrified of what will happen if no budget is secured for Clayton in the coming months.

“We got hundreds of letters from people, and people testified in Springfield saying ‘If it weren’t for a facility like Clayton, my loved one would be dead, my loved one would be in jail, my loved one would be dying of alcoholism or drug addiction, my loved one would be living on the streets,” Lyke said of the response Clayton got when talks first began about cutting funding for SMHRFs.

Lyke said that statements have been made year after year in the state government claiming that SMHRFs like Clayton limit the freedoms of their residents. Many of these came in 2011, after a consent decree was passed in the class action lawsuit Williams v Quinn, which essentially makes it easier for SMHRF residents to leave facilities like Clayton and re-enter their communities.

“This has been on the table for almost as long as I’ve been here,” said Lyke, who has directed Clayton for two years and before that worked as the clinical director for six years. “There were a lot of statements being made… that nobody needed to live in a place like this, and places like this should be shut down. We’re warehouses, we don’t provide any services for people, we’re just trying to make money off of people. I took that very personally.”
A Clayton resident runs the incentive store, where residents can get rewards for accomplishing certain goals or daily tasks.

Despite their intent to keep serving their residents in the face of this opposition, Clayton has already had to tighten its belt to handle the effects of the budget impasse.

“Right now we’re making small changes. We’re not cutting anybody, but we’re not hiring anybody extra. We’re looking at ways to save money in every department,” Lyke said, including finding more affordable supplies, food, activities, and outings. She said if no funding is secured, Clayton would stay open as long as possible in order to help their 200 residents find places to go. Clayton’s closing would also spell unemployment for the facility’s 125 employees.

“Clayton provides structure, and support, and safety, and supervision that is necessary,” Lyke said. “We don’t intend to shut down. We don’t want to panic people.”

Lyke said she hopes that state lawmakers will eventually see that the services Clayton and other mental health facilities provide is necessary and worth funding. In addition, she hopes that lawmakers begin to see the value in the people utilizing their facilities.

“My hope as an altruistic dreamer is that our worth and value will be recognized as an extremely important part of the continuum of care for mental health needs in Illinois,” Lyke said. “The people who live here aren’t being valued. What it is that they need, and what it is that’s going to be helpful for them is overlooked because they’re not taken seriously. They’re not seen as something that’s worth funding.”

Kanye West the Surprise Headliner at AAHH! Fest in Union Park for Sweet Homecoming of Chicago Hip Hop Superstars Kanye West the Surprise Headliner at AAHH! Fest in Union Park for Sweet Homecoming of Chicago Hip Hop Superstars(0)

It was a sweet homecoming party in Union Park for AAHH! Fest 2014 with Kanye West closing the festival in a surprise guest performance.West took stage after Common performed three songs from his new album “Nobody’s Smilng.” Fans went wild when Kanye West jumped on stage to perform.



Watch more video footage of performances from AAHH! Fest on Breaking Voices YouTube Channel


African Festival of the Arts a Huge Success for the African Diaspora African Festival of the Arts a Huge Success for the African Diaspora(0)

By Unieros

African Festival of the Arts 2014 in Chicago will celebrate its 25th anniversary of celebration African culture.  The 25th African Festival of the Arts 2014 will be held Labor Day Weekend Friday, August 29- Monday, September 1, in Washington Park, Chicago.

African Festival of the Arts feature two stages of music, a main stage and a world music stage. Music by Musiq Soulchild,  Dee Alexander, Harriet Tubman Band with Cassandra Wilson presenting Black Sun. Salif Keita, and the Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards.

BVNews Coverage of 2013 African Festival of the Arts

The food, the music, and the art of black people from the African diaspora was on display at the 2013 Annual African Festival of the Arts in Chicago. Held in Washington Park on Chicago’s historic South Side, the four-day festival showcased the variety and diversity of African cultures around the world.  “Origins” was the theme of this year’s festival which featured over 300 artists and food vendors.


The walking paths of Washington Park were transformed to look like a African village. Booths along the paths displayed antique sculptures, paintings, handmade crafts among plenty jewelry and clothing vendors.

Watch video from the 2013 African Festival of the Arts Chicago.

Hundreds of Chicagoans attended the festival and night time concerts held during Labor Day Weekend.

Grammy Award singer Brandy Norwood headline the 2013 African Festival of the Arts.

At the end of each day, the main stage at the festival featured celebrity musicians. Music headliners included African American blues Blues legend Otis Clay,  R & B Diva Monifah, and Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtuzudki.


The Afro centric items ranged included T-shirts from Historically Black Colleges (HBCU) to antique masks from Timbuktu and original paintings from Senegal. Attendees could eat food from African diaspora countries including fu fu from Ghana, Jamaican jerk chicken, rice and bean dishes, African American soul food greens.

The festival also featured a Drum Village where dancers and drummers of all ages played constant rhythms on congas and djimbes. Picnic tables dispersed throughout the lawn areas served as gathering places where festival goers mingled and enjoyed entertainment on small stages like the World Stage. A special area of the festival was Blacks in Green, where attendees enjoyed roundtable dicussions about healthy eating and living green.


One couple told Breaking Voices that they have been attending the African Festival of the Arts for more than 15 years because they find the festival to be a great event to network and meet people in the community.

The African Festival of the Arts celebrates black culture in a way that shows how black people regardless of where they dwell strive through their art, music, dance, and food to remember their ancestors, document their history, and paint their hopes for the future.

About Africa Festival of the Arts

The African Festival of the Arts is the flagship program of Africa International House USA, Inc. (AIH), a not for profit organization working to bridge the divides between the peoples of the African Diaspora in Chicago. This year’s festival included a special collaboration with Afro Entertainment Awards that honor musicians, arts, and entertainers from the African diaspora. Featured artist and art work for the festival was by “Asali” by Najjar.

The African Festival of the Arts is held over four days during Labor Day weekend and has become for many, the traditional way to end the summer. This not-for-profit organization was founded 20 years ago to bridge the divide between the peoples of the African Diaspora in Chicago with its unique brand of cultural programming.

In 1989, Patrick Woodtor, President, Africa International House, along with his late wife author and historian, Dee Parmer Woodtor, produced the African Festival of the Arts for the first time as a seasonal community event to honor African culture and tradition in the historic “black belt” on the South Side of Chicago.

June 3, 2014 City of Chicago Hosts Tribute to Frankie Knuckles, Godfather of House Music in Millennium Park June 3, 2014 City of Chicago Hosts Tribute to Frankie Knuckles, Godfather of House Music in Millennium Park(0)

Is house music the genre that will unite the City of Chicago? If last night’s jam packed tribute to Frankie Knuckles, the “Godfather of House Music” was any indication, Chicago is on its way to being a truly multicultural city. Last night at the “Bean” thousands of Frankie Knuckles fans gathered for a dance party with djs spinning music below the city’s Bean sculpture in Millennium Park. People from every segment of society was present, black white, latinos, Asians, young old, gay, straight all danced to the beats of house music.

The Frankie Knuckles Tribute presented by The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events was held 6:00pm-9:00pm in Millennium Park Central Promenade the “Bean”.

The lineup for the Frankie Knuckles Tribute event featured house music djs from around the world

DJ’s include:

      • Mike Winston
      • Craig Loftis
      • Greg Gray
      • Elbert Phillips
      • Words by:
      • Robert Williams
      • Alan King

Watch #BVNews video as the diverse crowd of thousands dance to Frankie Knuckles “Whistle Song.”


Chicago is known to be a city of neighborhoods, each separated by borders of culture and class. Last night looked crowds at the Frankie Knuckles Tribute seems as if every part of the city was represented for a truly diverse melting pot.

#BVNews was live at the historic house music event. The “Bean” looked like colorful cornucopia with the variety of people mirrored in its reflection.

Click to get more local Breaking Voices News

Without too much lyrics, the mixed beats is driving force behind house music. Regardless of the language of culture one represent, the beats make the body move. Frankie Knuckles house music has been popular for thousands of “house heads” since 1980s.

Born Francis Nicholls, he was known for his stage name, Frankie Knuckles, he passed away suddenly at age 59 in Chicago. Some fans held up programs from the Frankie Knuckles memorial service.


Chicago Tribune Music Critic Greg Kot wrote an article April 1, 2014 about the death of Frankie Knuckles. Kot wrote: 


He championed house music that wasn’t just about rhythm, but that embraced humanism and dignified struggle. It was in keeping with his belief that the dancefloor was a safe haven for the gay, African-American and Hispanic communities that first embraced him.”

 “God has a place on the dancefloor,” he once told the Tribune. “We wouldn’t have all the things we have if it wasn’t for God. We wouldn’t have the one thing that keeps us sane – music. It’s the one thing that calms people down.”

Greg Kot, “Frankie Knuckles, house music ‘godfather,’ dead at 59” –  Chicago Tribune

One fan, told #BVNews about his moving to Chicago from Memphis and listening first to Frankie Knuckles music, which he now identifies with being a Chicagoan. Watch #BVNews interview below.

This is the second time the City of Chicago hosted a Frankie Knuckles tribute since his passing on March 31, 2014. Within days of his death The Chicago Cultural Center held a gathering that turned into a large dance party to honor the great house music dj. This second and bigger tribute shows the city know the importance Knuckles played in bringing Chicago on the international scene for house music.

ABOUT Frankie Knuckles

Knuckles was born January 18, 1955 in The Bronx, New York.  He later moved to Chicago where is developed his career as a dj in house music. He played an important role in developing and popularizing house music in Chicago during the 1980s, when the genre was in its infancy. Due to his importance in the development of the genre, Knuckles was often known as “The Godfather of House Music.” Chicago named a stretch of street and a day after Knuckles in 2004 for this role. His accomplishments earned him a Grammy Award in 1997. Knuckles was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005 as recognition for his achievements. Knuckles passed away March 31, 2014.

Are you a fan of Frankie Knuckles music? Share your comments below with #BVNews

Old St. Pat’s Church in Downtown Chicago Host The World’s Largest Block Party Old St. Pat’s Church in Downtown Chicago Host The World’s Largest Block Party(0)


By : Jeannine Chavez


Hosting 20,000 people in the Old St. Pat’s neighborhood for two nights is no small task. Old St. Pat’s Church, Chicago’s oldest public building as well as a treasured historic landmark will be the the host of the 28th annual World’s Largest Block Party.

Among the most anticipated and popular summer events in Chicago, The World’s Largest Block Party, is an annual tradition for young adults to gather to meet, mingle and listen to nationally recognized entertainment.


Ben Folds Five, Lifehouse, Joe Pug, Brett Dennen, Out For Hours, Vintage Blue, No Love For Linus, Spazmatics, Mike & Joe, Number Nine…

Throughout the years, countless people have shared the World’s Largest Block Party’s mission of hospitality and community. More than a thousand volunteers each year help host the event. The World’s Largest Block Party is one of Old St. Pat’s most significant fundraisers.

Proceeds support the mission and outreach activities of Old St. Pat’s including the Education Center, the Outreach Group, Horizons For Youth, Career Transitions Center of Chicago and Global Alliance for Africa. This event is a party for a good cause.

Official World’s Largest Block Party Website:

Dates: Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30, 2012

Time: 5:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Place: Outdoors, Des Plaines between Monroe and Adams, Chicago

Cost: To be announced. Tickets: To be announced.

Walk up Sales

Tickets can be purchased at Old St. Patrick’s office, 711 West Monroe Street, 3rd floor.

Monday–Thursday—9:00 am–7:00 pm

Friday & Saturday—9:00 am–2:00 pm.

Tickets can be purchased by cash, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and AmEx. NO CHECKS

For more information, contact Block Party Hotline 312-648-1590

130 Chicago Kids Paint Mural in Northside Neighborhood Inspired By San Diego Artist/Illustrator Rafael Lopez at Addison & Blue Line. 130 Chicago Kids Paint Mural in Northside Neighborhood Inspired By San Diego Artist/Illustrator Rafael Lopez at Addison & Blue Line.(0)

By : Anna Zolkowski Sobor , Addison/Avondale Mural Executive Committee & Vice President, Old Irving Park Assn.


Chicago, Illinois—it all started when one young mother got tired of trudging through a dreary, pigeon-spotted viaduct on the way to her local park.  Joanie Friedman’s hope to paint a mural at Addison St. and the Kennedy Expressway resulted in a transformation, but not only of a blank wall.  It snowballed into a cross-country, cross-cultural and cross-community effort.

130 children age 5 and older are scheduled to finish painting the 100+ foot long Addison/Avondale mural this Thursday, June 21 beginning at 9 AM.  A ceremony thanking mural designer Rafael Lopez is planned for 3 PM at the mural site.  Friday, June 22 marks a community celebration, with a group photo at 5:45 PM, and then a parade to nearby Athletic Field Park led by funky marching band Environmental Encroachment.

The mural was gridded, traced and painted in one week after a year long local planning and fundraising process. San Diego, California based artist and illustrator Rafael Lopez was welcomed at a reception at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen on June 13, 2012. He’d offered his design and one week of time to paint a mural with both experienced volunteer artists and over one hundred children on Chicago’s Northwest side.  Irving Park resident Cesareo Moreno, chief curator of the Museum, volunteered to be the Addison mural’s project manager.

Located at the intersection of the Avondale and Irving Park community areas, the railroad underpass is at the crossroads of the CTA’s Blue Line subway, the Kennedy Expressway and Addison Street.  It serves as an entry point to Chicago for hundreds of thousands of Cubs fans, as well as being a major bus and pedestrian commuter hub.

Over 500 neighbors responded to emails, a stencil on the blank wall announcing a mural and a Facebook page (  They came together to organize and secure donations of time, materials, food and funds.  As a result, people who’d lived and worked in the area for years forged new friendships and alliances.  Both pedestrians and motorists have stopped to cheer on the work in progress.  The effort spilled over onto the adjoining vacant piece of land on Avondale Ave., which is being transformed into a community perennial garden.

The impact of a little paint on the wall resulted in another ripple effect.  Ineffective pigeon netting & years of pigeon waste were removed from above the viaduct’s southern sidewalk and new pigeon spikes installed thanks to Ald. Rey Colon’s (35) intercession.  Pedestrians now have a healthier and cleaner environment when walking to the bus, park or Blue Line.

View Larger Map

NATO occupies Chicago, Then OccupyChi occupies Chicago Back ( View Pics) NATO occupies Chicago, Then OccupyChi occupies Chicago Back ( View Pics)(0)

By : Breaking Voices Staff

After months of uncertainty, Chicago had its first day of NATO protests with many more to come by the end of the summit by Monday night. Since Chicago Mayor Emanuel announced it over nine months ago that Chicago would be the summit location, many have speculated what this would mean for Chicago socially, politically and financially. For many traveling to Chicago from all over the world, this is only the beginning of what is to be a generational moment.

Many within this generation have only seen clips of the dogs in Mississippi attacking protesters demanding an equal voice or the beatings by police in the 90’s that lead to the burning of Los Angeles. The protesters at Daley plaza seek to speak for those without a voice in places that NATO has occupied. This weekend is the time to exercise your right to assemble if you want to call attention to what needs to change around the world. The launch party for protest will begin on Sunday at Grant party at 11:30am.

Today’s protests were small in size, but demonstrated to the police that the foundations of a true movement are assembling. To give praise to Chicago police for their ability to observe as well as not interfere, it gives hope that the end of the NATO summit even will see the police as people in this moment.

As we took photos at the corner of Jackson & La Salle as the Occupy protesters carried signs stating ” we are the 99 %.” We realized that some bystanders didn’t realize why these people were protesting when we overheard them saying ” I’m never coming back to Chicago, is this what they do here on Fridays?” With the passion seen in the occupy activists, by this time Monday, they will know that this is where democracy stood its ground against oppression.


By: BV Staff

Chicago Run was founded in 2007 and operates and supports running programs for children and youth to fight against childhood obesity.

The organization’s mission is to promote the health and wellness of our children through innovative, engaging, and sustainable youth running programs.

Chicago Run partners with Chicago Public Schools. They support and have running programs in 50 elementary schools (including Burr in the 1st Ward), serving 12,000 students in high need communities across the cityChicago Run was founded in 2007 and operates and supports running programs for children and youth to fight against childhood obesity.

The organization’s mission is to promote the health and wellness of our children through innovative, engaging, and sustainable youth running programs.

Chicago Run partners with Chicago Public Schools. They support and have running programs in 50 elementary schools (including Burr in the 1st Ward), serving 12,000 students in high need communities across the city.

About Chicago Run

Chicago Run is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the health and wellness of Chicago children through innovative, engaging, and sustainable youth running programs.

Our vision is to enhance the health and well-being of every child in Chicago through running.

Founded in December 2007 to aid in the effort against childhood obesity, Chicago Run implements free running programs in high-need communities throughout Chicago, improving the health and uplifting the spirits of schoolchildren.

“Chicago Runners” run 15 minutes per day, three to five days per week, and are rewarded for achieving their mileage goals.  89% of our participants qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program. .


Chicago Interactive Social Club 2nd YEAR ANNIVERSARY @ EPIC Lounge (112 West Hubbard St. Chicago) Chicago Interactive Social Club 2nd YEAR ANNIVERSARY @ EPIC Lounge (112 West Hubbard St. Chicago)(0)

By: BV Staff

First, amazing execution for the second anniversary event for the Chicago interactive Social Club started by Brothers Andrew Landan and Jon Landan. The Chicago Interactive Social Club was created to give the interactive marketing community a fun, free way of getting to know one another.

The second thanks to the entire staff over at Epic Lounge for hosting an amazing 2 hour event amongst the movers and shakers of the Chicago interactive industry. The event went beyond the standards set last year for a even more amazing networking event as well as a complimentary drinks & Appetizers.

For those that attended the event, it was the perfect environment to network with Chicago’s Interactive professionals from digital agencies, technology, public relations, and sales gurus from all over the city. As you can tell from the photos, this 120 minute event was well received by the packed house of professionals as well as the jar-full of business cards at the entrance of the venue collected by co-host of the event which were the Internet Prophets.

About Chicago Interactive Social Club ( )
The Chicago Interactive Social Club is a group of interactive professionals focused on networking & socializing in Chicago.

To that end, we’re hosting quarterly get-togethers and inviting you to come mingle with agency masterminds, fellow creatives, code gods and interactive marketers all within the friendly confines of some of Chicago’s choicest watering holes. Because at Chicago Interactive Social Club (CISC), we understand that you can make a lot more connections with a kind word and a drink than you can with just a kind word.

Who are the events for, you ask? CISC is a networking arena for all different aspects of the interactive space: Agency, Sales, Tech and Design. And through the graciousness of our sponsors, there will never be a cover charge, dues or membership fees. It’s just a good way to meet others within the interactive community, and not worry about who’s picking up the tab.

About Internet Prophets ( )
Forget almost everything you know about Internet & Mobile marketing. The game has changed and there is a NEW set of rules. The OLD way of conducting business online no longer applies. If you’re employing tactics from 2011, you’re in for significant erosion in market share and a rude awakening.

More than 25 other leading Internet & Mobile marketing experts will be taking the stage at Internet Prophets LIVE! in Chicago, June 8-10 and have agreed to reveal seldom-taught strategies, tactics, and tools they leverage to build their multi-million-dollar empires.

Chicago Recycling Program Moves Forward ( Via Chicago Recycling Program Moves Forward ( Via

By ( via )

In an event comparable to Christmas morning, many Logan Square residents woke up last weekend to shiny new recycling bins at their doorsteps.

While residents were very happy to receive the blue bins, many said they were dissatisfied with the long wait.

“Just a few blocks north towards Belmont, people had theirs two years ago,” said Liz Cwick, 54.

Cwick said there have been many calls to local aldermen from her neighborhood seeking recycling bins. She said that recycling is important to her and her neighbors, and the absence of blue bins has been inconvenient.

In the meantime, she and her “whole little block” have managed by taking their recycling to Drummond Montessori, a local school.

“We are all waiting to see how they keep up with it,” she said.

Another resident, 33-year-old Emily Grimm, said she had been hoping for the bins. She usually took recyclables to a distribution center on California Street, but often had to throw them out.

Logan Square is among the first areas to get recycling services this year under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s effort to expand the city’s program while cutting costs. Announced last July and implemented on Oct. 3, the plan aims to streamline the city’s recycling program with competitive bidding.

A method that has been successfully implemented in Pheonix, Ariz., and Charlotte, N.C., competitive bidding allows the city to contract private companies for recycling services.

The Streets and Sanitation Department has announced in an email that competitive bidding “creates a competitive environment to drive down the costs of service, while increasing the quality and efficiency of services through competition.”

Under the new plan, the city was divided into six service areas: three (including Logan Square) are served by Waste Management Inc., one by Midwest Metal Management and two remain the city’s responsibility.

According to the Streets and Sanitation Department, the city provides recycling services to 260,000 homes. Last year the city collected 53,000 tons of recycling.

As of last summer, recycling cost the city $13.8 million. The two private companies have estimated they could do the same for half that. Streets and Sanitation announced after three months the city has already saved $1 million.

According to the Chicago Recycling Coalition, the city once promised to provide recycling to 600,000 homes by 2011. The Streets and Sanitation Department, however, received no additional funding in 2010 and the number of homes was capped.

As a result of the new plan, the blue cart program will be expanded to 20,000 homes this April, according to the city’s website. Logan Square was among the first beneficiaries of the expansion, as it is surrounded by neighborhoods that already have blue carts, according to Streets and Sanitation.

The expansion area is marked by the Kennedy Expressway to the east, Pulaski Avenue to the west, Diversey Avenue to the north and Grand Avenue and Kinzie Street to the south.

Buildings with between one and four units are eligible for recycling. Residents may request additional bins at no extra charge by calling 311.

Contacts and information

Social networks

Most popular categories

Copyright © 2011 is a 360 NewsNow Media, Inc. Company All rights reserved.