CITY HALL — The City Council approved stiff new fines Wednesday to compel larger apartment complexes to join in recycling.
Aldermen raised fines for not giving residents the right to recycle from the $25-$100 range to $500-$1,000 on first offense. A second violation within a year would result in a fine of $1,000-$2,500, with subsequent violations meriting $2,500-$5,000.
Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams insisted in testimony before the Health Committee that his department was not intending to "go out and start hammering folks with tickets." He said every opportunity would be made to use the new fines as a tool to get people to recycle.
Ald. George Cardenas (12th), chairman of the Health Committee, said he expected it to "entice" compliance, and passed it over objections from the Chicago Association of Realtors. The final version, however, did include an initial 30-day warning period for a violation before fines kick in.
Streets & San recycling crews serve 600,000 single-family homes and apartment buidings with up to four units citywide, but larger complexes have to arrange their own recycling pickup from private firms.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: