How the Evolution of the Waste Management Industry Will Affect Employment Outlook

There’s no doubt that today’s waste management industry has changed dramatically in the last couple of decades. Waste management has been historically handled via landfills or by burning it. However, there’s an emerging new model of waste management. Chicago and other cities are more focused on reducing waste production in the first place, as well as diverting it toward recycling solutions instead of disposal.

While these changes in the industry are extremely positive, they are also inevitably having an impact on the job market. The following are the four primary trends involved:

1. New Skills Required to Meet the Green Economy

There is now a rising demand for workers with specialized skills and competencies in eco-friendly waste management methods. A range of environment-related considerations are now required in the average waste management worker’s job. However, these skills are also increasingly required in areas not traditionally associated with waste management.

As much as 10 percent of vacancies in the environmental protection field have requirements for waste management competencies. Duties may include monitoring waste disposal, characterizing waste types as well as creating waste reduction programs. These skills are also required in areas such as urban design, sustainable planning and alternative transportation.

2. Cradle-to-Cradle: Moving from Disposal to Diversion

The “cradle-to-cradle” concept describes efforts that divert waste from disposal so that landfill space and natural resources can be preserved. Creating less waste in the first place is now a priority for many businesses and industries. Companies are designing products and packaging with this in mind, substituting materials, reconsidering existing designs and recycling more. Progressive waste disposal technologies like anaerobic digestion are also being utilized. Waste management workers who are qualified in these areas will be increasingly in demand.

3. Current Staff Reaching Retirement Age

Many existing waste management managers and employees are also reaching retirement age. Nearly 40 percent of waste management workers are 50 years or older and have 10 or more years in the field. With such experienced workers exiting, the void created will require trained, skilled and highly educated workers for waste management Chicago companies, especially in the areas of management and in supervisory roles.

4. General Industry Growth

The best news for the waste management sector is robust growth. Between 2004 and 2006, the industry saw growth of 17 percent. As of 2010, there were over 70,000 waste management professionals working in the industry. Continued growth is also expected. Labor market studies show demand for solid waste management workers at 6 percent compound growth rate annually going forward.

This translates into thousands of new jobs each year for the foreseeable future. Workers with the right training and skills can expect excellent prospects for employment in the waste management industry going forward.

These trends in waste management and around the country are fueling changes in the industry toward more eco-friendly solutions. They’re also expected to contribute to a positive employment outlook in the field going forward.

10 Event Management Tips For a Successful Outdoor Festival

The warmer weather means festival season will soon be kicking into high gear. The most memorable and successful festivals flow smoothly and tend to have some common elements. From adequate power to portable bathroom rental, certain considerations are key to success. Address these 10 management areas when planning an outdoor event:

1. Permitting and Ordinance Compliance

Check the rules and laws for your event location and garner all required permits to host the event. Learn about the safety requirements, fire codes and any other restrictions so that you can ensure your event is organized in full compliance.

2. Safety

The safety of your performers, vendors and attendees should be paramount to your organization of the festival. Plan and arrange the layout of the event with guest safety in mind. Arrange to have basic first aid and medical attention on site.

3. Security

Hire adequate security staff to help prevent and take care of any incidents that might arise. Ensure adequate communication for all event staff by providing two-way devices.

4. Ticketing and Entrance

Selling tickets is the number one consideration for high attendance at your festival, so plan carefully. A reduced advanced ticket price can boost sales well before the event. Decide if you will use wrist bands, hand stamps or a paper ticket system at the gate.

5. Marketing

Successful advertising and marketing is crucial for raising awareness about your event. Make use of traditional marketing as well as online opportunities like PPC and banner ads on relevant websites. Set up social media accounts for your event to generate buzz. Advertise in the local press as well.

6. Power, Lighting and Water

Be sure that your food vendors, musicians, DJs and other components all have adequate electricity and water supply to meet their needs. Arrange for a backup generator or power system in the event that there is an issue with your main setup.

7. Technical Matters

If the festival will have live music, hire a professional music production company to take care of all the details. Concerts require stages, sound systems, lighting and other key elements, and it’s best to outsource to a company with considerable experience in these areas.

8. Logistics

Plan for the ideal way for staff and vendors to load in and out of the event space. Be sure to schedule accordingly in terms of location, parking and volume so that all elements of the event can be set up and taken down smoothly.

9. Sanitation

Having adequate restroom facilities is essential to the comfort of your vendors and attendees. Partner with a Chicago company that offers portable bathroom rental who you can trust to ensure your sanitation needs are met professionally. Dumpster service and waste removal will also be required for cleanup during and after the event.

10. Weather Considerations

In an ideal world, outdoor festivals would always enjoy amazing weather. However, realistically, event planners should have plans in place in the event of rain or inclement weather. Having a few large tents for festival goers will offer protection from both the rain and intense sun. An air-conditioned pavilion is a nice addition if it’s within the budget.

From waste removal and portable bathroom rentals to ticketing and marketing considerations, successful outdoor events all have some common elements. Use this guide to ensure your outdoor festival is an enjoyable experience for all who attend.

An Overview of Single Stream Recycling

The production of waste is a fact of life. Whether from home or at the workplace, even the most green-minded among us creates waste. Fortunately, recycling is a lot more prevalent and possible than ever before. One innovation in the recycling industry that has made the process easier and more effective is single-stream recycling.

Easy, Efficient, Effective

For single-stream recycling, Chicago and other cities rely on a system that allows all recycled items from a business or residence to be co-mingled together for collection. This is an alternative to methods that require pre-sorting by clients in different receptacles, with categories such as plastic, paper, aluminum, glass, etc.

Instead, the mixed recyclables are sorted using specialized technologies at the recycling facility. Methods used for sorting include older techniques involving screens, magnets and conveyor belts. More modern processes utilized involve air jets and infrared readers. Each group of materials is then bundled or baled and sold for reprocessing or refining in order to create recycled products.

The advantages of single-stream recycling versus dual or multi-stream recycling include:

Easier for Clients

The lack of need for lots of sorting makes it easier for clients to recycle and also frees up more space in their homes or businesses for the storage of recyclables.

More Efficient and Affordable

Single-stream methods help to reduce costs since collection via single compartment trucks is cheaper than with multi-compartment trucks. The collection crews are also able to move more quickly, so collection times are more efficient. Single compartment trucks also have a larger collection capacity than trucks that have multiple compartments.


If a decision is made that new materials are going to be recycled, they can be immediately added to the existing recycling program. There is no need to add additional compartments to the collection vehicle.

Contributes to More Recycling

Recycling that is easier for clients makes people more willing to participate. Because of this, a greater percentage of the waste stream is recycled.

Some of the most common items that are recycled using single stream recycling methods include the following:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Food cartons
  • Plastic bottles
  • Aluminum cans
  • Aluminum foil and disposable bakeware
  • Glass bottles
  • Tin and steel cans
  • Batteries

Some items are mistakenly recycled by business owners and residents because they believe these items fall within the appropriate parameters. However, the following items should not be recycled:

  • Decorative glass
  • Crystal
  • Broken glass
  • Dirty glass
  • Dishes
  • Ceramic bakeware
  • Pyrex pans and containers
  • Window glass
  • Mirrors
  • Light bulbs

If you have items from your business or residence that are not on either of these lists and you think they might be recyclable, give us a call. We can offer guidance on the best course of action for the item so that it is disposed of properly.

Lakeshore Recycling Systems offers single-stream recycling Chicago can count on. We’ve been committed to preserving the environment since 1999, and single stream recycling Chicago trusts is a highly effective way that businesses and residential clients can do their part.

How to Encourage Residential Cleanup

With spring and early summer comes the need to clean up and clear away. Every community sees an increase in the amount of debris collected and tossed out. And, by providing a few key services to residents, it is possible for municipalities to encourage residents to tackle some of those more important and significant clean outs. When it comes to street sweeping services, Chicago residents can trust their city and Lakeshore Recycling Systems to get to work for them. But, there’s more your community can do to facilitate cleaning up and cleaning out.

What’s Happening in the City?

It’s important for city managers to connect with residents. What would they benefit from? Could a weekend cleanup event help residents to take better control over their home and yard? Cleaned out properties increase property values. And, with such events, there’s less risk that trash pickup will be overwhelmed with larger items. The environment is cleaner, too!

Tackling the Problems

How can you encourage this type of cleanup in your location?

  • Sponsor a recycling event. Many people have items they want to donate but don’t know where to do so. From aluminum cans to glass and plastic bottles, there’s plenty to keep out of the landfill. Such events create a positive city image without requiring more than a few bins strategically placed.
  • Encourage a waste collection day for construction materials or yard waste. This is especially important after storms or other significant events when the community needs a fast way to get rid of these items. It can also help encourage people to responsibly get rid of paint, chemicals, and other hazardous materials in a safe way, helping your community to avoid environmental risks.
  • Whole-home clean out services are not always something communities can pay for out-of-pocket. However, by sponsoring city-wide efforts, you can encourage people to be more proactive. Encourage residents to help their neighbors in need as well. With the use of our dumpster services, we can help make such efforts possible and ensure anyone that needs to clean out has the means to do so.
  • Appliance disposal is a very important service communities can offer residents. These items are too heavy and risky to be simply sat on the curb. Instead, people often keep them in their garages, creating a fire and hazard risk. Communities can sponsor an appliance drop-off event. With nothing more than public notification of this, local government can ensure residents know they have a responsible way of ridding their home of these items.

Most of the time, such efforts can be handled inexpensively and without a lot of time investment. Work with Lakeshore Recycling Systems to make that possible. With a little effort and understanding of community needs, any residential area can see a significant result. Providing such services not only boosts home values but shows that the local government cares about improving the quality of life of residents. How can you put such an effort into place to benefit your residents?

Top 10 Materials That Should Never Be Discarded In Dumpsters

Chicago relies on roll-off dumpster services to assist businesses and residential property owners with a variety of waste disposal needs. Whether it’s a construction project or a special event, excess garbage and general waste management, in Chicago, dumpster solutions can be indispensable.

However, there are limits to what can be disposed of in this manner. Never put the following 10 items into a roll-off dumpster:

1. Batteries. No battery type should ever be discarded in a dumpster. This applies to alkaline batteries, auto batteries, rechargeable batteries and lithium batteries. Instead, recycle them at an auto parts store, hazardous materials facility or other designated location.

2. Electronics. Old televisions, VCRs, computers, printers and their components should also not be thrown into a dumpster. Instead, check with the retailer for disposal options. Some cities and municipal areas may take these items on designated dates of the year, so check local websites for this option.

3. Paints and Flammable Solvents. Lead-based paint and oil-based paint are also no-nos for dumpster discard. Paint thinner, solvents and flammable materials require specialty treatment as well. They qualify as hazardous waste and can often be discarded for a fee at designated locations.

4. Gas and Oil. Gasoline, motor oil, lawnmower fluids, lubricants, chemicals and other petroleum-based products must also be discarded at designated facilities in your area. They do not belong in a dumpster.

5. Appliances. From small appliances like blenders, toasters and espresso machines, to larger items such as microwaves, stoves and refrigerators, these items should not be discarded in a dumpster. Check with local handymen for pickup services, as many will repair them or use them for parts.

6. Pesticides. Just as with paints, solvents and gasoline, hazardous chemicals like pesticides are not allowed in dumpsters. This applies to both liquids and granules.

7. Light Bulbs. Neither incandescent nor fluorescent bulbs should be discarded in a dumpster. These should be treated as hazardous materials and disposed of accordingly.

8. Tires. Vehicle tires also do not belong in dumpsters. Check with local tire shops or auto parts stores for recycling programs and drop-off options.

9. Recyclables. Their very name tells you why these items shouldn’t be discarded in dumpsters. Whether it’s clean paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, cans or other recyclables, these belong in the appropriate receptacle for recycling so they can separated for future reuse.

10. Yard Waste. Many cities offer yard waste pickup of grass clippings, leaves, twigs and fallen branches. As such, they should not be thrown in a dumpster. You might also consider composting some of these items.

Finding dumpster services in Chicago that you can trust can be indispensable for your business and residential waste needs. Roll-off dumpsters come in a range of sizes and shapes for every circumstance. However, certain items should never be discarded in dumpsters. Keep this top 10 list in mind to stay in compliance with local laws and ensure your waste management efforts are always eco-friendly.

With the Right Company, Chicago Can Count on Proper Waste Services

When it comes to waste services, Chicago home and business owners have options. One of the benefits of living in such a large city is that there are waste collection and recycling companies that want business and will work to keep customers happy. But most people in Chicago use the same waste company, because the city contracts with that company to have the waste picked up and properly disposed of. Without this level of control at least in the downtown and major urban areas, there could be accumulating waste that Chicago wants to avoid. So what does Chicago look for in a waste service?

A Waste Service Company Has To Be Reliable

Companies that can’t be trusted often go out of business, because reliability is a vital part of any waste management service. That’s important to keep in mind when selecting a waste service provider, since their performance record matters and should be considered. You want a company that you don’t have to worry about, and one that you know will give you the services you paid for, at the agreed-upon times and dates, for the price you expect. If the quality level slips or the price goes up too much, you make then find that you need a new service provider. Switching can be expensive, so making the right choice the first time is important.

Being Environmentally Friendly is Important, Too

We only have one planet, and some of the things that are happening to it today aren’t good. Protecting it is very important to the continued health of plants and animals all over the world. Waste services are about more than just picking up trash and taking it to a facility where it’s processed, buried, or otherwise disposed of. It’s also about making sure recycling is handled the right way, and things that need to be recycled make it to the right facilities. That protects the planet and makes things easier for everyone, so it should be part of the strategy and plan of any waste service provider that’s chosen for the job.

Don’t Choose a Brand New Company

Everyone has to start somewhere, but new companies are still learning the ropes. They make mistakes, struggle with on-time performance and other issues, and may not be as quality-minded as some of their older competitors. Rather than take the risk of those kinds of problems, reach out to a waste services company with years of experience, and make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for from a company you can trust and feel good about for years to come.

What Can You Bring to Your Chicago Recycle Center?

Recycling is good for the planet, but even with the best of intentions there are still some things that you can’t recycle. It’s important you know what to bring to the recycle center, so you don’t end up being turned away or drop off something that has to be disposed of some other way. That’s especially true with hazardous materials, but also important for other items. When it comes to needing a recycle center Chicago has options, but not every center takes the same things. With a handy list of facilities and accepted materials, you can make the right choice in what items to bring for recycling and where to take them.

Why Are Some Recycle Centers Different?

The size of the facility, the number of employees who work there, and the types of equipment that are available all work together to affect what can and cannot be recycled at a particular location. Most of the Chicago area facilities accept more than a dozen types of materials, including things like tires and bricks as well as more standard options such as cardboard and plastic, but not all facilities are that way. For example, the Exchange Material Recovery Facility only accepts:

  • Dirt
  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Metal

What About Common Household Recyclables?

If you have more common items around your household, those will need to be taken to a different recycle center in order to be accepted. If you have e-waste, for example, only Northbrook and Heartland will accept that, as will the California MRF, while West Chicago MRF is not set up to take electronics. All four of those centers will take everything that the Exchange Material Recovery Facility accepts, along with:

  • Drywall
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Lumber
  • Railroad Ties
  • Stone
  • Tires
  • Wire

The West Chicago and Heartland locations also take vactor waste.

Get Your Materials Ready

Make sure you know the rules on bringing materials to any of the facilities you need to go to. They may have to be packaged a particular way or in certain sizes or lengths. If you’re not sure, calling ahead can give you plenty of opportunity to ask any questions you have about the location, what it offers, and special requirements to ensure that you’re bringing only recyclable materials and disposing of them the right way. It can give you great peace of mind, and also help the planet breathe a little bit easier, too.

Mulch Services in Chicago Mean Options for Your Landscaping Needs

When it comes to making your landscaping look great and you need mulch services, Chicago has plenty of options for you to consider. Mulch is cost effective, easy to use, and you can get plenty of it whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner. The mulch offered is from 100% recycled wood that used to be fences and buildings, so it’s good for the planet, too. When you choose mulch, you have some options. There are different colors you can select from to enhance the look of your yard or other location, and you can also work out a way to get the mulch from the facility to your home or business in the best way possible to meet your needs.

What Color Mulch Should You Choose?

Choosing the right color of mulch is important. Of course you can always change it, but it’s much easier and more economical to get the right color and look of mulch the first time. That way you can have it put down once and then just enjoy the way it looks all year long. LRS’ mulch is ground from double processed hardwood and color enhanced with a high-quality colorant that is resistant to fading as well as non-toxic. Not only does it look beautiful, but it’s safe for the environment! Mulch comes in:

  • Premium Brown – the best quality mulch in a rich brown color, to work with a lot of different color schemes.
  • Premium Red – the best quality mulch in a deep red, making a bolder statement and contrasting very well with greenery.
  • Premium Black – the best quality mulch in a darkened to a black to make a statement and contrast in the landscape.
  • Triple Ground Brown – a finer mulch in a natural wood color, when you want other things in the area to be a focal point.

Why Do Different Mulch Choices Matter?

Having more than one mulch color and style gives you options to choose from, so your landscaping contrasts with your yard and home, and complements everything near it. You can make mulch stand out or choose something that blends in, just depending on what you want to show and the kind of look you’re going for. Many people want mulch that makes a statement and adds color to their landscaping, while others would prefer mulch that blends in and does its job without being the star of the show. No matter which option you like, reaching out to us can give you the information you need to choose mulch you love.

6 Ways Your Business Could Benefit From an On-site Storage Container

Whether you’re running a small company or a large-scale enterprise, commercial on-site storage containers can make your business operations much smoother. When you’re ready, hire the commercial on-site storage containers Chicago businesses know and trust. Here are the top six ways any size company can benefit from commercial on site storage:

1. Multi-Purpose

Commercial on site storage containers can be used for a range of needs. From files and documents to equipment to excess inventory, these units offer flexible storage for a range of industries. They are perfect for tools, machinery and general storage. Consider storing your seasonal inventory and supplies while they are not in use. You can also change and rearrange the contents as your business evolves.

2. Cost-Effective

If you require extra storage for your business, leasing an off-site unit can be many times more expensive than an on-site solution. Commercial on-site storage is also substantially more cost-effective than remodeling a building, buying more property or adding on to your existing workplace facility.

3. More Efficient

In business, time is money. Going back and forth to an off-site storage facility for key materials, machinery or documents is a drain on productivity for your business. Having your stored items on-site and right at your fingertips will help to maximize productivity and output throughout the work week.

4. Flexible

The commercial on-site storage containers Chicago businesses use are also extremely flexible. With your items stored right on your property, you don’t have to worry about being unable to access them at a storage facility that may have limited business hours. Also, you can easily move and rearrange the units as you see fit. Add more units to your property as needed when your storage needs change.

5. Strong and Secure

On-site storage containers store your belongings safely and securely. They are made of sturdy material, reliable construction and feature double locking doors for added peace of mind. When sealed and locked, the contents will be fully protected from the elements and safe from damage, loss and prying eyes. Set up your storage container within sight of your property’s security cameras for even more protection.

6. Grows with Your Business

Commercial on-site storage containers can be set up quickly to meet your storage needs efficiently. Removing or adding more units can be done very rapidly. They also facilitate the efficient retrieval of your items literally right outside your company’s doorstep, helping your business grow and thrive.

Put simply, the commercial on-site storage containers Chicago knows and trusts make doing business a lot easier and more efficient. You’ll save substantially over leasing an off-site storage unit or adding on to your existing facility.

Are you ready to enjoy all the benefits of using on-site storage in your enterprise? Select the commercial on site storage containers Chicago knows and trusts. Give us a call and we’ll help you determine the ideal solution for your storage needs.

Spring is Here, and It’s Time for Landscape Mulch

With the arrival of springtime, people are thinking about flowers, flower beds and other landscaping projects. Before you start planting beautiful colors in your yard, though, you’ll want to check into landscape mulch. That way you can protect a great looking flower bed or other landscaping if there’s a cold snap that can sometimes happen in early or even mid-spring. Landscape mulch looks nice and smells good, and it holds the soil in place so you don’t get runoff into your yard, driveway, or other locations. Overall, it’s a great choice for getting your yard in shape to enjoy.

Buying Your Landscape Mulch in Bulk

If you only need a tiny bit of mulch it’s easier to just get a couple of bags at the store, but most people need more than that. It’s not just residents, either. There are city properties and commercial properties that also need mulch for their spring landscaping. If you need landscape mulch Chicago has plenty of choices for your home or business, but you want to make sure you’re getting the best rate. Buying in bulk is one of the ways to do that, because it usually costs less to purchase a large quantity of mulch all at once than it would to buy smaller amounts separately. It can be a great deal on a nice-looking yard.

Getting Mulch Delivered to Your Location

One of the big benefits of getting mulch delivered is that you can have it placed in a location that really works for you. That can make your landscaping easier and faster, so you’re able to get it done and get on with just enjoying the day and everything it has to offer. Spring is a great time of year, and when you have mulch to work with you can be out in the sunshine enjoying things much faster, both while you’re working and after you’re done. You also don’t need to go and pick up your mulch, so you can get started on your project earlier and have it looking great in no time.

Why Choose a Company to Help You?

Getting the right company to help you matters, and when you need landscape mulch Chicago gives you choices. Be sure to make the right choice, though, so you can get a good deal on the mulch you select and have it last for a long time. Then you can appreciate all that the spring and summer has to offer, and your flower beds or other plants will be protected from cold snaps, rainy spells, and dry times when rain may be scarce. Mulch is an excellent protective blanket, and putting down new mulch in the springtime just sets you up for an excellent year of growing beautiful things.