Friday, December 2nd

Last updateFri, 14 Oct 2016 11am

 About the Project

In 2011, the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) launched a citywide project called accelerate77, aimed at accelerating grassroots sustainability initiatives throughout Chicago’s 77 community areas. The project did this by identifying the initiatives and connecting them to one another, resource providers, and policy makers in a city-wide Sharing Approaches that Work Conference. The accelerate77 project has led to the formation of the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN). As the organizing sponsor of the network, ICA is currently engaging members of the CSLN, a network of local activists and community organizations/organizers throughout Chicago, in collaborative change making efforts.



 Get Your Thoughts in on Recycling in Chicago!

Recycling contamination robot

On November 2nd, the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) had a great meeting to kickstart the conversation about recycling in Chicago. We heard from representating from Chicago's Streets and Sanitation Department and collectively answered the question "What are practical actions and strategies that can help Chicago deal with the blocks and reduce contamination in recycling bins across Chicago?"
The group's ideas to reduce contamination in recycling bins across Chicago are:
1. Producing a Highly Visible, Clear, Educational Marketing Campaign
2. Publically Recognizing Successes and Shortcomings
3. Collaborating with Community-Based Organizations
4. Inviting Community Participation
5. Utilizing City Assets in Training and Education
6. Modeling an Inclusive Citywide Standard on Language and Practices
7. Illustrating Big Picture Impact of Recycling
8. Learning from and Telling Stories with Data

We're follow up the conversation at three regional meetings -- help the CSLN get out the word! Invite friends on Facebook and use this flyer to print and share to invite community members. Let's put our best foot forward to improve recycling in Chicago!

Regional Meetings
The CSLN is continuing the recycling conversation at three regional recycling gatherings. At each of the meetings, residents will have an opportunity to learn about the current state of recycling in Chicago from City officials, talk through recycling-related questions and hurdles, and finally give input into ways to mitigate recycling contamination and improve recycling across the city.
Everyone is invited to contribute to these meetings! There will be light snacks available. Share your insights to help improve recycling in Chicago!
Wednesday, November 9th, 6-8pm

Chicago Urban League
Chicago, IL 60653

Suggested transit: 47th Red Line, 47th Green Line or 29, 43, or 47 bus. Street parking available.
Tuesday, November 15th, 6-8pm

Inspiration Kitchens
Chicago, IL 60624

Suggested transit: Conservatory-Central Park Green Line or 82 bus. Street parking available on Lake.
Wednesday, November 16th, 6-8pm

Horner Park Field House
Chicago, IL 60618

Suggested transit: Rockwell Brown Line or 78 bus. Parking is available on site.






September CSLN Meeting Recap
Icebreaker to guess which Chicago neighborhood or landmark you are
On September 28th, the CSLN met at the Austin Public Library on Chicago's west side. There were a few new faces at the meeting, and many attendees represented west side neighborhoods. The meeting started off with an interactive icebreaker about Chicago landmarks and neighborhoods. While the game presented a challenge to some participants, it was fun to learn more about each other and Chicago.
The group's main task was to move forward the CSLN Recycling Initiative, an initiative supported by the City of Chicago to brainstorm creative ways to reduce recycling contamination. The CSLN will be hosting one central meeting and three regional recycling meetings in November in order to brainstorm creative solutions to lowering contamination rates of blue bins. If you are interested in getting involved in the recycling initiative, see the description above or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like to learn more.


Get Involved in the CSLN Policy Group 

CSLN Policy Group is currently working on the following tasks in 2016:

  • Creating a document with sustainability contacts/point persons throughout city departments  (water, transit, water reclamation, etc) 
  • Creating a document that helps members have conversations with their alderman and local officials around sustainability planning and how links to violence prevention, job creation, and health
  • Assessment of where we as a network see different City sustainability policies. Whats working well/what areas are not getting the required attention. We want to work on this before we begin to think about what policy's we may be able to help draft. 

If you're interested in working on any of these items or learning more about the policy group, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.