Chicago Moves Toward “Zero Waste” Model


Chicago has decided to take steps to remove waste from the entire city in a way that word waste does not remain alive and lead to the “Zero Waste Model”. It is a plan which is proposed by David St. Pierre, executive director of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago according to whom a model is going to be made by them which would be highly effective and therefore the word waste is targeted to be removed from the common vocabulary. The agency has contributed with the city and it has been involved in the maintenance of the infrastructure of the city as well as took measures when the flood was to be handled and now it wants to do more work and extend it to the management of wastewater which is targeted to be made more productive and for that, a new plan for the next five years has been given by the agency according to which Chicago is to be made waste free.

For the execution of the plan, the agency has set objectives. The main objective of the agency is the recovery of the nutrients during the processing of wastewater. One of the nutrients i-e phosphorus has been targeted to get recovered at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant which is the largest facility of the recovery of such nutrient in the world. Through this facility, Chicago will be the city with zero waste.

Apart from the nutrient recovery project, the agency has made Illinois American Water which is the largest investor owned water utility in the state, partner. Becoming partner with them, help the agency in the reclamation and the distribution of the wastewater to large water users. This project which will be helpful in the reuse of water will ultimately provide the benefit of saving fresh water which is taken from the lakes and the customers which are currently with them will be able to fulfill their need of water with that new water reuse project.

Challenges of sustainability are to be faced by Chicago and they have urged the city to search for some unique solutions to encounter them.Tactics have been used by creating coalitions among public and private enterprises and advantages of these coalitions are being tried to be fully availed and one of the advantages is taken by the wastewater industry which would be a cause of making the environment better and waste free.


David Weisbach who is a law professor at University of Chicago made some additions that the country is linked with the entire world and anything affecting the others will have an effect on the country as well and therefore, climate change will create effects on Chicago. The economy of the country is diversified which do not depends on the growth of one sector only.

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