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Do This: South Side Trash Tour

By JoshMogerman in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 4, 2013 9:30PM

"One of these days" [Bob Segal]

Nobody wants to live next to a dump, and, after being forced to live amidst growing hills made up of the buildup of Chicago’s garbage and toxic waste, South Siders said “enough is enough” in the 1980’s when they forced a city ban on new or expanded landfills.

The City Council has since extended the rubbish restrictions through 2025, but the legacy of decades of dumping around Lake Calumet embedded memories of potential “sludge slides” and the threat of street closures and spontaneous fires from collapsing towering garbage mounds.

But for most of the rest of the city, where “sludge slides” have not been a threat, Chicago’s harrowing history with solid waste is a bit remote.

The Southeast Environmental Task Force, one of the groups that helped to put the gag on new garbage dumps in place, want Chicagoans to experience stinking truth—but in comfort.

The next in their series of eye-opening tours highlighting some of the ugly ways that the "the City that works" really works will bus you through the dumps and waste facilities that still dot the South Side around the Calumet River. While we don’t know that we would call the experience uplifting, their tours are always enlightening and the ticket includes swanky coach bus service in and out of the Cultural Center, as well as lunch—if you feel like eating…

Southeast Environmental Task Force's “Down in the Dumps Ecotour” takes place on August 10, 2013 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Tickets are $35 and available online at