City Council: Let the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse “recycle” the Recycling Center!

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The City Council will soon decide how to move forward with the Evanston Recycling Center building. The Recycling Center was built in 1991 because the City of Evanston has had a long time commitment to sustainability, climate action and livability for its residents. It closed in 2010 and has not been developed or consistently used in 8 years since. The building is not, and has never been, on the property tax rolls.

The City Council Administration and Public Works Committee is being swayed by for profit developers that would put the property on the tax rolls and develop the site for entertainment use. The 2019 City budget deficit is at least $3 million; a $50,000 property tax for the site will not come anywhere close to fixing the problem.

The next best use for the Recycling Center is the nonprofit Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse. A move to the Recycling Center would provide many positive impacts in Evanston.

Environmental Sustainability - the organization could expand operations to rescue even more building materials and sell them at affordable prices to our community. Less trash in landfills leads to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Less waste in Evanston transfer facilities will decrease odors and noise for neighboring residents. With classroom space, we could partner with community groups and schools on how we can each do our part to help the environment. We could offer classes on how to repair and repurpose things instead of throwing them away.

Job Creation and Workforce Development - Recycling, waste diversion, and deconstruction are all labor-intensive processes and promote job creation for local residents. 9 employees out of our 13 person staff are Evanston residents.  We have a workforce training program that provides low-income individuals paid on-the-job training to build careers in the deconstruction and construction trades. We would be able to expand this program if we had more space for classrooms, tool, equipment & van storage, and warehouse space for building materials we receive from deconstruction projects.

Finally, we are a unique part of what makes Evanston a vibrant community. We are the only nonprofit doing what we do from the tip of the North Shore south to the Gold Coast. We are fun, funky and creative. But also a determined and innovative solution to complex social and environmental problems.

Please tell the City Council Administration and Public Works Committee that you want the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse to recycle the Recycling Center! Our community, environmental, and economic benefit outweighs the small amount of tax revenue brought by for profit entities.

Kevin Mott

Board of Directors, Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse



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