Cook County Waste Management: Environmental & Economic Benefits for Chicagoland

Delta Institute conducted a regional waste benchmarking study using data supplied by Cook County and participating Chicagoland municipalities. We determined the economic and environmental costs of current waste management practices for 20 municipalities across the Chicago Metropolitan Region. The research team then modeled the economic and environmental costs in the year 20402 under three distinct future waste management scenarios. The three waste management scenarios include: 1) Status Quo in 2040, 2) 40% Recycling Rate in 2040, and 3) 60% Waste Diversion Rate, where waste diversion includes recycling and compost, in 2040. We found that by increasing rates of recycling and waste diversion, the Chicago Metropolitan Region could create up to 39,000 regional jobs by 2040 and achieve significant environmental benefits, offsetting all greenhouses gas emissions from waste management-related practices, such as collection, disposal, transportation, and separation.

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