In 2009, an Illinois law, the IL Public Act 096-0489 passed. This new legislation allowed for Beneficial Use Determination (BUD) status permitting the handling of materials previously classified as waste to be returned to the economic mainstream without the legal siting requirements of a solid waste transfer station.
This action spawned recycling industries in Illinois and has encouraged private-sector innovation and job growth in the most difficult economic climate in recent history. Reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS) are now among the materials allowed to be recycled in Illinois, a petroleum resource that was harvested by neighboring states for nearly a decade.
“Some of these cities waited for somebody to come and solve their problems for them. That day is no longer with us,” Uwe Brandes, executive director of the Masters Program in Urban and regional Planning at Georgetown University, said.
Since 2010, eight cities and towns have filed for bankruptcy. The economic crisis has led residents to join forces to find creative ways to rescue and rebuild their communities.
“My friend and I had this idea, well, why don’t we just grow food in the city. Seems like a really easy plan right?” Cheryl Carmona, in Baltimore, Md., said.
From that idea grew Boone Street Farm, an urban garden in a rundown East Baltimore neighborhood.