Monday, December 01, 2008

Illinois Grants $760,000 in Recycling Dough

Looks like the season of gift-giving is starting early, when it comes to Illinois recycling grants. Joel Hood of the Chicago Tribune writes:

The Illinois Recycling Grant Program is doling out $760,000 throughout the Chicago area during what is traditionally the most wasteful time of the year—the holiday gift-giving season.
(I think he's referring to Chicago area residents doing the "wasting". Thought for a minute there that he was talking about state government. Silly of me.) Two things caught my eye. The first is that the zoo made out pretty well in this early gift-giving season, but I was a little mystified by the explanation of how they will use the green:
Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo landed $31,000 to get visitors to stop throwing away aluminum cans, plastic and paper in the hopes of diverting as much as 10.5 tons of recyclable materials away from landfills, officials reported.
Now, how will $31,000 dollars be used to "get visitors to stop throwing away" recyclables? I may be wrong, but that seems like alot of scratch for signs. Maybe high tech detectors in garbage cans, that set off an alarm when some kid tosses his pop can? Enviro-security guys to patrol and catch offenders? We'll have to visit the zoo next year to find out. We'll try to get some pictures.

The other:
Supply-Chain Services Inc. of Lombard was awarded $120,000 to hire three employees and expand collection and processing of electronic waste.
That was the largest grant amount to a single recipient according to the State Journal Register, but the Pantagraph reports that:
Midwest Fiber Inc., McLean County, received $120,000 to expand its existing collection and processing operations, including the creation of four full-time jobs. It’s expected that recyclable materials will increase from 34,000 tons to nearly 40,000 tons.
And according to Hood's article in the Trib, Vintage Tech Recyclers of Plainfield got $120,000 as well, and will hire one new employee.

These three companies got a combined $360,000 in grants - nearly half of the $760,000 total. The governor explains the grants this way (same Pentagraph article):
“By investing in companies and communities that are expanding the recycling industry in north-central Illinois, we are growing our economy in a way that helps our environment. With our support for these innovative efforts, we can lessen the demand on landfills and create more jobs for working families,” Gov. Rod Blagojevich said in a statement.
Well, between these three companies, the economy will "grow" by a whopping eight jobs. So, cynical Chicagoan that I am, even though all things environmental are good and holy, I'm suspicious. Why? Read the next post.

Supply-Chain Services, Inc. is a part of System Service International (SSI), and both companies are at the same address in Lombard, Illinois. According to GLRPP (Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention), Supply-Chain Services is a consulting firm. The president is a woman named Jade Lee. Vintage Tech Recyclers Karrie Gibson is the founder and president. Midwest Fiber, Inc. has a brand new website. The contact name given by the Illinois Recycles Directory is Todd Shumaker. Here is a list of the Illinois Recycling Association Board of Directors.

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