The City of Chicago offers several ways for residents of the 44th Ward to recycle. If your garbage is picked up by the city's Streets & Sanitation department, you can participate in Chicago's Blue Cart Program. With this program, materials no longer need to be sorted in blue bags. All materials to be recycled can go directly into the blue cart. Blue carts will have separate pickup from normal garbage collection, and will be sorted on-site.

If you are a part of the City's Blue Cart Program, your recyclables are picked up every other week. Blue Cart pickup begins Monday May 9th. Blue carts must be accessible throughout the week.  Only residents with curb-side pickup will have both Black and Blue cart pick up on the same day.   

2018 Blue Cart Recycling Schedule
Pickup for blue carts occur every other week. Please click here for 2018's schedule or refer to the map below.  


The Chicago Blue Cart Recycling Program is bagless.  

We know that everyone wants to do their part to protect the environment, but when you put the wrong items in a blue cart you contaminate not only your cart but a whole stream of otherwise useful materials.

Plastic bags damage equipment at sorting facilities and also keep workers from seeing whether other non-recyclables — like greasy pizza boxes or Styrofoam — have been placed in the cart. Going bagless not only helps our environment, but also reduces unnecessary costs incurred by the City as a result of contaminated blue carts.

So lose the bag, and keep the recycling! 

Recycling in your blue cart is easy. Some simple tips for going bagless include:

·         Throwing recyclables directly into the blue cart throughout the week;

·         Using a garbage can, bin or container to collect recyclables in your house. Then bring the full container out and toss the items directly into your blue cart; 

·         Using a bag to collect and carry recyclables out to your blue cart. Then toss the items out of the bag and directly into your blue cart. You can even reuse the bag.

The important thing to remember is to toss your recyclables loose into your blue cart. Recyclables contained in bags of any kind will no longer be accepted.

Recycling is an important step we can all take to protect the environment. I encourage residents to incorporate recycling into their daily household routines.  

To help take away any confusion on what can and can't be recycled, the Department of Streets & Sanitation has launched a new website — Recycle by City Chicago — that will clear up misconceptions and provide a better visual representation of how to recycle correctly.

For more helpful tips on recycling, visit the City’s new website at

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Blue Cart Recycling Brochure

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For more information about recycling, please visit the City of Chicago's recycling website.

The City also offers several drop-off centers for recyclable materials. Please visit this page to view these locations.

If you would like more information about environmental issues in Chicago, please visit this site.

Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility

Disposing of household chemicals and computers through normal trash and recycling pickup could lead to harmful substances entering the environment. The City's Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility will properly dispose of these materials in a responsible manner.

Acceptable chemical items:

Household chemicals (bleach, harsh cleaning materials, drain cleaners, etc.); batteries (alkaline, button cell, rechargeable, lithium, car batteries, etc.); oil-based paints, aerosol paints, and paint thinners; solvents (mineral spirits, stains, paint strippers, preservatives, sealers); unused or expired medication (non-controlled only); compact fluorescent light bulbs & tubes; antifreeze; motor oil, gasoline, auto fluids; herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides; propane tanks for BBQ grills; lead acid batteries; all aerosol can (spray paint, hair spray, etc.); lawn, pool & hobby chemicals; mercury (thermometers, switches, thermostats); small fire extinguishers; small non-refilable cylinders.

Acceptable electronic items:

All computer-related equipment (monitors, mouse, hard drives, CPU's, computer cables, keyboards, laptops, etc.); cell phones; fax machines; scanners; printers/copiers; TV's (both working & non-working); DVD players; MP3/digital music players; PDA's; VHS players; video game consoles; zip drives; computer cables.

The facility will NOT accept the following items:

Business/commercial sector waste (residential only); explosives, ammunition, fireworks; latex paints; agricultural & institutional waste; smoke or carbon monoxide detectors; farm machinery oil; cement or concrete; household appliances (microwaves, toasters, coffee makers, stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers, humidifiers, blenders, dehumidifiers); medical waste (needles, lancets, biohazards); HVAC systems & accessories (air conditioners, furnaces, filters, etc.); radioactive material; refrigerants, freons; air conditioners; tires; controlled substances/narcotics; large/business copy machines; vacuum cleaners; films, reels, CD's, DVD's, video tapes, cassette tapes, etc.; answering machines; calculators; digital cameras; video cameras; paper shredders; power tools; print cartridges; stereo equipment; telephones; typewriters; business copy machines.

The facility is open every Tuesday, 7am-noon, Thursday, 12pm-7pm, and the first Saturday of each month, 8am-3pm. The facility is located at 1150 N. North Branch (Goose Island); for a map, click here.

For more information, please visit the facility's website.

Wheels for Wishes 

Wheels For Wishes is the only vehicle donation program that benefits Make-A-Wish Illinois. When you donate your car, truck, motorcycle, SUV, motor home or boat to Wheels for Wishes, the proceeds from your donation help to fund the wishes of kids in Chicago and across Illinois.  For more information, please click here.  

Vehicles For Veterans 

When you make a car donation to Vehicles For Veterans, the proceeds from the sale of your vehicle benefit disabled veterans in your state.

You can donate cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, SUVs, and RVs, in nearly any condition. Receive great benefits like:

·         A charitable tax deduction.

·         Eliminating the hassle of selling your car.

·         Helping the green movement by recycling your car.

·         Fast, free pick-up and towing of your donated vehicle.

       ·         In most cases, your vehicle is accepted whether it is running or not. 

For more information, please visit their website here

Chicago Recycling Ordinance - Amended

City Council recently amended the Chicago Recycling Ordinance (Chapter 11-5 of the Chicago Municipal Code) to reflect the most current standards within the recycling industry. The ordinance now provides greater clarity to property owners about their recycling responsibilities while also giving city officials stronger enforcement capabilities.

The new Chicago Recycling ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2017.

Under the amended ordinance, property owners of multi-unit residential, office and commercial establishments will now be mandated to provide source-separated, single stream recycling (separating recyclable materials from waste before the point of collection) which is the most commonly used collection method in the industry. Property owners will also be responsible for implementing an ongoing educational program that includes posting signage, providing adequate carts and sending written notice to tenants about the changes.

The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) will handle enforcement of the ordinance that includes a 30-day warning period and graduated penalties for non-compliance after an inspection. These penalties include: $500-$1,000 (first offense); $1,000 to $2,500 (second offense within 12-month period); and $2,500-$5,000 (third and each subsequent violation occurring within 12-months of the most recent violation).

In 2013, Chicago completed the expansion of its blue cart recycling program that provides bi-weekly recycling collection services to the more than 600,000 residents who live in single family homes, two-flat, and three-flat and four-flat buildings.

For more information on recycling in Chicago, visit or call 312-744-2413.

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