• Erin Hegarty
    OCT 17, 2023

    News in brief: Chicago launches first citywide composting program; Johnson won’t be part of delegation traveling to southern border Tuesday; City Council approves dozens of re-referrals


    Mayor Brandon Johnson on Monday announced plans for the inaugural citywide composting program. Johnson will not be part of a delegation set to travel to the country’s southern border Tuesday. And the City Council approved the re-referral of dozens of new proposals on Monday. 

    COMPOSTING — Chicago officials on Monday launched the first citywide composting program that will allow residents to drop their household food scraps at one of 15 locations around the city. Residents participating in the program will sign up for a drop-off location where they will bring their food scraps to be processed into compost. Composting is an easy and effective way to address the climate crisis, Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a news release. “As we bring composting options to all Chicago residents, we can reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that occur when organic food material decomposes in a landfill, return organic materials to the earth, and most importantly, create healthier communities across our great city,” Johnson said. Food scraps including meat, bones and dairy will be accepted at the drop-off sites and a full list of acceptable items is available online. “The Office of Climate and Environmental Equity applauds DSS for taking this important step in diverting food scraps from the waste stream and returning this organic waste to a productive reuse for compost,” Chief Sustainability Officer Angela Tovar said in the news release.  

    BORDER TRIP — Mayor Brandon Johnson will not be part of a delegation set to travel to the country’s southern border this week despite saying during a news conference earlier this month that he would travel to the border. The delegation instead will be lead by Beatriz Ponce de Leon, deputy mayor of immigrant, migrant, and refugee rights, according to a news release from Johnson. The delegation will include city, state, faith and philanthropic leaders, according to the news release. While the news release does not name specific delegates aside from Ponce de Leon, it does detail that the delegation will leave Tuesday and travel to El Paso, San Antonio, McAllen and Brownsville in Texas. All of the cities are points of departure for migrants coming to Chicago via bus and plane. Johnson and top aides will stay in Chicago "to address the immediate urgency of adding shelter space to house thousands of new arrivals currently sleeping in police stations, airports or outside,” according to the release. As seasons shift, temperatures drop and migrants continue to arrive in Chicago, “it is more important than ever that every stakeholder at the state, federal and local level work diligently to address this challenge, while continuing to meet the needs of Chicago and Illinois residents,” according to the release. 

    COUNCIL MEETING — In a quick meeting Monday morning, the City Council approved the re-referral of dozens of proposals banished to the Committee on Committees and Rules earlier this month by Ald. Anthony Beale (9). Beale told reporters earlier this month that he sent the vast majority of Johnson’s proposals to the rules committee after he was not given “ample notice” before “several busloads of migrants [were] dumped into the Fifth District Police station...This was totally disrespectful to my community on not giving my community the heads up.” Additionally during a City Council meeting last week, Beale and Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) deferred and published the re-referral of the dozens of new proposals, leading to the scheduling of Monday’s meeting to finally re-refer the proposals to their proper committees. Members of the City Council also approved proposals approved earlier this month by the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate, the City Council Committee on Police and Fire and the City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards 

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