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Garbage Removal and Recycling

The City of Chicago is responsible for garbage removal for residents that live in a single-family home or a building of 4 units or less.  Residents that do not qualify for city services are required to have a private hauling service but are entitled to a Refuse Rebate. You can find a list of waste and recycling vendors here.

Blue Cart Recycling in the 1st Ward

• Blue Carts should be placed next to your black cart in the alley or designated area
• The garbage placed in your black garbage cart is collected every week
• Yard waste placed next to your carts is collected every week between the months of April and November

If you have any questions regarding the Blue Cart Recycling Program, please call Alderman Moreno's Office at (773) 278-0101.

Blue Cart Recycling Basics Minimize

The program includes residents of the 1st Ward who currently receive City of Chicago garbage service, defined as a single family home or a building with 4 units or less. If you do have city garbage pick-up then you will be automatically enrolled in the program and will receive a blue cart in May.  Once you receive the cart, begin to deposit recyclable materials including paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, tin and aluminum.

Recyclables should be placed directly into the blue cart. Once the materials are collected, machines at the recycling plant will sort and separate the products. According to the recycling experts, it is best to not place recyclables in bags, because this may slow down the processing of the materials.

Therefore it may be a good idea to keep an extra garbage can or plastic bin next to the regular trash can inside your home.  When the cans are full, just place your bagged household trash in a black cart and your recyclables directly into the blue cart. 

Overview of how the Blue Cart program works:

  • Deposit recyclable materials in your blue cart.  Blue carts will be serviced by a separate recycling truck every other week. 
  • Yard waste, picked up from April thru November, should be placed in a separate bag next to your garbage carts.  The bagged yard waste will be collected by a separate yard waste collection truck weekly.  No yard waste should be placed in the blue or black carts.
  • Place all remaining garbage in the black garbage carts.  Garbage will continue to be picked-up once a week.
  • The recyclables collected from the blue carts will be delivered to a recycling center and ultimately turned into new products.  The yard waste will be collected and turned into composting materials commonly used as an alternative to chemical fertilizers for soils.

Get Involved!
 a Recycling Block Captain

  • Engage your neighbors about the new program
  • Provide the City with feedback about the program
  • Spread the word on future recycling-related activities

To enroll call (312) 744-5702, complete an on-line form at www.bluecartschicago.org, or contact the 1st Ward Office Service Office at (773) 278-0101.

Recycling FAQ's

Q.  How does the Blue Cart program work

A.  Recyclables are collected every two weeks. Regular trash will still be picked up once a week as well as yard waste. 

Q.  Do I have to pay for the blue recycling cart?

A.  No.

What can I recycle?

A.  Residents can recycle containers and paper materials, including paper, cardboard, plastics, and aluminum in their blue recycling cart.   For a full list of acceptable and unacceptable materials, visit www.bluecartschicago.org.

Should I separate my recyclables into plastic or paper bags before I place them in my blue cart?

A.  No.  All recyclables should be cleaned and placed directly into the blue cart.  Once the recyclables are collected, the machines at the recycling plant will sort and separate the products.  If the recyclables are in a bag, it will stall some of the processing and this way you can recycle your bag instead of generating more waste!

Will my yard waste still be collected

A.  Yard waste will be picked up separately once a week during the months of April through November.  All yard waste should be collected separately, placed in a tightly sealed bag, and set out next to your blue recycling cart. Yard waste includes grass clippings, leaves, and branches.

Will I be included in the program?

A.  To participate in the Blue Cart program you must be a 1st Ward resident and live in a single-family home or a building of up to 4 units.  Residents living in buildings of more than four units will not be able to participate in the program because the City of Chicago does not pick up garbage from those residences. Building managements and waste haulers are required by City ordinance to provide a recycling system to all residents.

What are my options if I do not qualify to participate in the Blue Cart program but I would still like to recycle?

A.  The Blue Bag recycling program is still active and encouraged for all residents to recycle materials.  The City of Chicago also recently announced the addition of 15 Drop-Off Centers where you can bring paper, plastics, and glass for recycling.  The Centers accept the same range of materials as the Blue Cart program.

Drop-Off Center Locations
Pershing Road  1424 W. 39th Street
Near South  1800 S. Clark
Calumet Park Beach  9801 S. Avenue G 
Auburn Gresham  7811 S. Racine  
Household Products & Electronics     
Collection & Training Center*
1150 N. North Branch 
Chicago Center for Green Technology     445 N. Sacramento 
North Lawndale    1817 S. Pulaski
West Pullman  11515 S. Indiana
Pasteur Park  5825 S. Kostner
Marquette Park     6734 S. Kedzie
Riis Park  6110 W. Fullerton
Portage Park  4100 N. Long
Kosciuszko Park     2732 N. Avers
Rainbow Park 

3111 E. 77th Street

Far North Side     6441 N. Ravenswood
            *Closest location for most 1st Ward residents.

Q.  Where can I recycle household hazardous wastes?

A.  Household Products and Electronics Collection and Training Center (HPECTC) accepts common household items such as batteries, electronics, household chemicals, and even old medicines.  Please note that the 1st Ward Office also accepts batteries to recycle.

HPECTC, located at 1150 N. North Branch Street, is two blocks east of the Kennedy Expressway at Division Street and open for drop-off on selected days.

Hours of Operation

Tuesday:  7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Thursday:  2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
The first Saturday of every month: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


More Info

1st Ward Streets and Sanitation Office
Manny Gonzalez, Superintendent

2505 W. Grand

(312) 744-5523

Start your garbage service with the City


Request a bulk pick-up or missed pick-up


Blue Cart Recycling Program

Household Chemicals & Electronics Disposal

1150 N. North Branch St.

Hours of Operation
Tues.: 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Thurs.: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
The first Saturday of every month: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

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Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno: 2058 North Western Avenue Chicago, IL 60647 p: (773) 278-0101 f: (773) 278-2541