Hot on the trail: Chicago to expand Northwest Side cycling, walking path on river

Read the full story in RedEye Chicago.

A month after The 606 elevated rails-to-trails project opened, plans are moving forward on another trail project on the Northwest Side.

Plans call for a bridge crossing over the North Branch of the Chicago River and a multiuse trail on the east bank of the river underneath Addison Street, near California Avenue, to connect existing trails for cyclists, runners and pedestrians between two parks.

Chicago makes bike sharing service more affordable for low-income city residents

Chicago has launched the Divvy for Everyone (D4E) program to address financial barriers and increase access to their bike sharing service. While the price of an annual membership breaks down to only twenty cents a day, some Chicagoans cannot use Divvy because they do not have credit or debit cards or are on a fixed income.

The new program features a $5 annual membership and doesn’t require a credit card, although you need to register in person at one of the LISC Financial Opportunity Centers listed on the web site.

A family of four with a household income of less than $72,750 per year qualifies for one-time $5 membership. The program is only open to Chicago residents.

For more information, visit

Chicago Is Hoping to Retire the Word “Waste”

Read the full story at Next City.

When it comes to managing city sewage, Chicago is hoping to redefine the word waste.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s new five-year strategic plan expands on the work the agency has been doing on everything from flood mitigation to infrastructure maintenance, and focuses on making wastewater management more productive.

UI report: Illinois will see effects of climate change

Read the full story in the News-Gazette.

Farm fields in Illinois, not just coastal regions, could see dramatic effects from climate change, warns a new report from the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Legislation reopens electronic recycling

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Brian Younker hopes to reopen Orland Township’s drop-off recycling center as soon as Gov. Bruce Rauner signs a bill that boosts the amount of electronics that manufacturers are required to pay to recycle each year.

The legislature averted a recycling crisis by the House and Senate each unanimously passing House Bill 1455 in mid-May. It increases by about 13 million pounds what the manufacturing companies must pay for during the next three years — a short-term fix that’s expected to get recycling centers to take electronics again.

Natural and Cultural Resources Master Plan for the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Via the Prairie Research Institute’s News from the Library blog.

The Natural and Cultural Resources Master Plan for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, produced by the Prairie Research Institute, provides data-driven guidance to theForest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) — which celebrated their 100th anniversary in February–for managing preserves in the coming century.  The FPCC manages >69,000 acres preserving diverse ecosystems and archaeological sites enjoyed by millions every year.

An Updated Look at PCBs

Download the document.

At the request of a bi-partisan group of legislators, the University of Illinois was asked to undertake a review of how polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated soils and other wastes are managed in Illinois. Their main concern was a proposal to deposit PCB wastes in an expanded section of a landfill near Clinton, Illinois. The legislators that asked for this report thought it would be helpful to undertake a review of current practices in Illinois, look at how other governments handle these wastes, and review current research on PCBs including alternative waste-management technologies.

This report includes a summary and recommendations about PCB disposal, a review of how PCBs are a persistent pollutant, and a literature review of remediation technologies of PCBs and manufactured-gas-plant wastes.