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"The committee hearing on Hansen's proposal was kind of a joke," says White. "Burke was the only committee member who attended, and after a while he started talking on a telephone. So there we were, testifying in favor of this important proposal that can help shape the city's future, and no aldermen were even listening."Sure, the system still has its flaws, and the overall success of Chicago's recycle program compared to other cities leaves something to be desired. But maybe we can take the tiniest bit of comfort knowing that at least some progress has been made in the last 30 years.
Bannister and other city officials testified against Hansen's proposal, arguing that it was unrealistic. A few weeks later the Department of Streets and Sanitation announced its plans to conduct a curbside program in four wards—the 7th, 12th, 31st, and 41st—using city workers. The dumps, meanwhile, continue to fill.