Our mission

It’s simple:
We help Chicagoans reduce waste.

Reduce Waste Chicago is a nonprofit organization that empowers residents to address climate change through waste reduction on a personal, producer and policy level.

How do we do that?

We collect

We host Reuse & Recycling Pop-Up events across the city, where we collect a selection of items that can be reused, repurposed or are difficult to recycle. Our schedule can be found on our events page. Before visiting, please check out our list of accepted items.

We also collaborate with other organizations and artists to collect specific items, such holiday lights, bras and plastic utensils.

We inspire

Connecting with people and collaborating with organizations is integral to our work. Here are just some of the ways we share best practices (and our practices):

  • Markets & festivals: We host The Sustainability Market, a gathering of vendors, artists, organizations and advocates focused on environmental sustainability; and are on the planning committee of the 47th Ward Eco Fest.
  • Schools: We work with students, teachers and administrators in starting environmental clubs, planning and executing classroom clean-outs and maximizing school supplies. We also present to middle and high school social studies classes as part of their social inquiry unit.
  • Civic organizations: We share our collection practices and no-waste resources with other organizations, such as neighborhood and church groups.

We advocate

We support and share information about policies that make it easier for residents to reduce waste, hold producers accountable for the lifecycle of their products, and require governments to provide more environmentally-conscious services. We are active members (or affiliates of the following organizations:

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