Press Release /

Collaborative Grant Supports New Recycling Facility in Chicago

Enhanced recycling capabilities available for over 1 million residents in Midwest

CHICAGO; August 14, 2023 — A new materials recovery facility (MRF) has opened in the city of Chicago with state-of-the-art equipment thanks to a collaborative grant from the Carton Council of North America  and the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI). The opening of this facility, which will be operated by Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS), the city’s recycling service provider for four of the six recycling zones, marks a significant milestone in enhancing recycling capabilities and promoting sustainable practices in the region.

This joint initiative comes in response to the growing demand for efficient recycling infrastructure. The new facility has been designed with industry-leading practices, advanced technologies, and a cutting-edge optical sorter to ensure the efficient sorting and processing of various recyclable materials. These materials include food packaging items such as paper cups, pizza boxes, food and beverage cartons, paper bags, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP) cups, and aluminum foil food packaging. After entering the recycling system, these items are baled and primarily sent to recyclers located in the Great Lakes region where they transform the materials into new products, thus promoting the advancement of the circular economy.

“Collaboration is a cornerstone of the Carton Council’s strategy. We are proud to work with the Foodservice Packaging Institute and Lakeshore Recycling Systems, contributing to more efficient infrastructure in the Chicago area,” said Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council. “When we partner with others who share our commitment to improving recycling, it’s a win-win.”

“We are excited about the opening of this new facility, which will play a crucial role in processing a wide array of foodservice packaging items,” expressed Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute. ” We are thrilled to continue expanding recycling efforts in the region and drive innovation in waste management,” Dempsey added.

The facility’s capabilities are optimized to handle the additional recyclable tons generated within the city and maximize the recovery of valuable resources, benefiting over 1 million residents in the Windy City and surrounding communities.

“This new facility will enable us to provide enhanced waste management services and maximize recycling efforts, benefiting the community we proudly serve,” said John Larsen, chief operating officer at LRS. “We are honored to be part of this partnership that fosters sustainability and drives positive environmental impact.”

To celebrate this significant achievement, LRS hosted a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event on August 9 to inaugurate the facility. The event was attended by representatives from LRS, the Foodservice Packaging Institute, the Carton Council, and the City of Chicago. The occasion served as a testament to the strong partnership between these organizations and their dedication to sustainable waste management practices.


ABOUT THE CARTON COUNCIL: The Carton Council is composed of four leading carton manufacturers, ElopakPactiv EvergreenSIG and Tetra Pak. Formed in 2009, the Carton Council works to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill. Through a united effort, the Carton Council is committed to building a sustainable infrastructure for carton recycling nationwide and works toward their continual goal of adding access to carton recycling throughout the U.S. For more information, visit

ABOUT FPI: Founded in 1933, the Foodservice Packaging Institute is the trade association for the foodservice packaging industry in North America. FPI promotes the value and benefits of foodservice packaging and plays an active role in advancing the recovery of FSP to support the circular economy. The association serves as the industry’s leading authority to educate and influence stakeholders. Members include raw material and machinery suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and purchasers of foodservice packaging. For more information, visit

About LRS: LRS is among the nation’s leading independent waste diversion, recycling and portable services providers. Since 2013, LRS has specialized in delivering an exceptional customer experience for millions of residential and commercial customers across nine states: Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Kansas, Arkansas and Tennessee. Diversified and growing, LRS also offers affordable roll-off container services, C&D recycling, portable restroom rentals, on-site storage and temporary fencing. LRS owns and operates more than 70 facilities and thrives on the passion of nearly 2,300 full-time employees. The company provides safe, innovative, sustainability-driven services to clean and beautify the cities, neighborhoods, and communities it serves. To learn more visit