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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Greater Chicago (MWRD) is accepting applications from Cook County individuals, organizations and businesses for its 2021 Sustainable Landscaping and Biosolids Beneficial Reuse Awards until September 15.

The awards recognize the activities and innovations from entities such as park districts, villages, schools, golf courses and athletic clubs in two separate categories: Sustainable Landscaping and Beneficial Use of Exceptional Quality (EQ) Biosolids and Biosolids Compost. Exceptional Quality biosolids and biosolids compost are a product of the MWRD’s water treatment process that are used as soil amendments and sustainable alternative to other materials.

The beneficial use of EQ biosolids and biosolids compost may be demonstrated through any one or a combination of the following:

  • Continuous commitment to maximize the use of EQ biosolids or compost to improve the cost-effectiveness of landscape management.
  • Promotion such as, but not limited to, referrals and field demonstrations of EQ biosolids or compost.
  • Educational efforts on the environmental/eco- nomic benefits of using EQ biosolids or compost.

​​​Qualifications for the Sustainable Landscaping award may be demonstrated through the innovative use of green infrastructure, capital investment, and how an individual or organization promotes green landscaping to educate the community. The goal is to present an award to an individual or community that integrates sustainable practices in the environment that manages stormwater. For the purpose of the award, green infrastructure includes:

  • Rainwater Harvesting, i.e. through rain barrels
  • Rain Gardens
  • Native Landscaping
  • Stormwater Trees
  • Porous Pavement
  • Bioswales
  • Green Roofs
  • Greenways
  • Wetlands
  • Green Alleys, Streets, and Parking Lots

Activities completed after January 1, 2016 are eligible for an award, and an individual or organization is eligible once every five years. Submittals should include figures, illustrations, narrative, and photos to help further explain the efforts. The evaluation process may include a site visit.

This year’s awards applications will be accepted electronically. The applications can be found here. If you have difficulties using the electronic form, please email to request a print version by email.

Submit application packages by September 15, 2021 to or mail to:

Guanglong Tian
Biosolids Utilization and Soil Science
Monitoring & Research Department
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
6001 W. Pershing Road, Cicero, IL 60804

Awards will be presented at the MWRD’s ninth annual Sustainability Summit in October 12, 2021. For more information about the biosolids program, awards or Sustainability Summit, contact (312) 751-6633. This year’s Sustainability Summit will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams on October 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. This event is open to the public. 

Sustainability summit application.pdf

Press Release

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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