Blue cart basics.

Empty containers - rinse, wipe or scrape out food. Recycle items loosely in the blue cart, without a bag.

RECYCLE THESE:

CARTONS empty & re-cap
GLASS
BOTTLES & JARS
METAL
CANS & FOIL
PAPER &
CARDBOARDflatten boxes
PLASTIC
CONTAINERSempty & re-cap

KEEP THESE OUT:

DON'T BAG RECYCLABLES no garbage
NO PLASTIC
BAGS OR WRAPrecycle at local stores
NO FOOD
OR LIQUIDempty all containers
NO SCRAP METAL no electronics
NO TANGLERSNo hoses, cords, chains
Printable guide: English Spanish

Household recycling guide

How to dispose of just about anything, responsibly.

All Categories
  • All categories
  • Call 311 for pickup
  • Hazardous!
  • Blue Cart - All recycling
  • Garbage Cart

CALL 311 FOR PICKUP

CALL 311 FOR PICKUP

These items are picked up by the City, free of charge.

leaves & yard clippings

 

Bag leaves in a paper or plastic bag. 


Call 311 for pickup.

 

The City offers free mulch made from yard clippings. 

pick-up by request

yard waste

 

Bag yard trimmings  in a paper or plastic bag. 


Don't include dirt, rocks, or gravel.


Call 311 for pickup

pick-up by request

furniture


Donate or resell what you can. Here are some local alternatives

 

Call 311 for pickup

pick-up by request

major appliances

(non-working)


Donate working appliances


Remove fridge & freezer doors


Call 311 for pickup



pick-up by request

Old mattresses


Call 311 for pickup


Donate mattresses that are in good condition. 



pick-up by request

HAZARDOUS! Don't place these in your carts

HAZARDOUS! Don't place these in your carts

These items contain harmful substances. Safe disposal is provided for each.

rechargeable batteries

 

drop off:  

Best Buy, Staples, Lowe's,

HCCRF


map & details

 

Alkaline batteries go in the garbage cart.

Caution

electronics/e-waste

 

drop off:

Best Buy ($25 fee for TVs) 

Staples (no TVs) 

HCCRF

 

map & details

Caution

pharmaceuticals

 

24/7 drop-off:

All Chi. Police Stations

 

Look for the blue bin in the lobby. 

 

map & details 

Caution

household chemicals

 

Cleaners, solvents, flammables, pesticides, etc. 

 

drop off:  

HCCRF 

 

map & details

Caution

metal tanks 


drop off:

HCCRF


map & details


Return undamaged, refillable propane tanks to the store.

Caution

oil based paint & stain

 

drop off: 

HCCRF 

 

map & details

 

note: dry latex/water based paints go in the trash

 

 

Caution

fluorescent bulbs and tubes

 

drop off:
Home Depot

Lowes

HCCRF


map & details

 


Caution

Use caution when disposing of broken fluorescent

light bulbs...

Here's how to do it safely:

 

epa.gov

Caution

motor oil

 

drop-off: 

Jiffy Lube

Oil Express

O'Reilly Auto 

HCCRF

 

map & details

 

Caution

BLUE CART - All recycling

BLUE CART - All recycling

Place these items loosely in the recycling cart, without a bag. Please do not place any other items your recycling cart.

cartons


lids on

recycling cart

aluminum cans

recycling cart

steel & tin cans

 

labels okay

recycling cart

clean aluminum foil

 

(if it's not clean, better to leave it out )

recycling cart

foil pie pans and baking tins

recycling cart

aerosol cans

 

must be completely empty so they don't

explode during recycling

 

recycle lids separately

recycling cart

Go bagless.

 

Keep all plastic bags out of the blue cart. Recycle items loosely, without a bag.

Plastic bags and wrap can be recycled at Jewel-Osco, Mariano's, Target, Best Buy and other nearby stores.


Learn more: Go bagless, here's why.




recycling cart

glass jars

 

recycle lids separately

recycling cart

glass bottles

 

all color glass

no corks please!

recycling cart

junk mail & office paper

recycling cart

newspaper

 

no plastic sleeves

recycling cart

phone & paperback books

recycling cart

magazines & catalogs

recycling cart

paper bags

 

reuse tip:

paper bags make for some fine gift wrapping.

recycling cart

wrapping paper


no glittery or metallic paper

recycling cart

sticky notes

(aka: Post It® notes)


attach them to a piece of paper to help them make it through the sorting process

recycling cart

boxes


flatten them to save room

 

no greasy cardboard

recycling cart

shoe boxes and gift boxes

recycling cart

food boxes

 

no plastic liners

recycling cart

cardboard egg crates

recycling cart

cardboard cores

recycling cart

Styrofoam
(aka: #6, polystyrene) is not accepted in the Blue Cart.



Ask your favorite shipping store if they want your packing peanuts. Often they do.  


Most forms of styrofoam can be dropped-off  for recycling.  Learn more.  


 

 

recycling cart

plastic bottles 

from the kitchen

 

caps on

recycling cart

plastic bottles

 from the bathroom

 

caps on*


*discard pumps & nozzles (because of the metal)

recycling cart

plastic bottles 

from the laundry room and cleaning closet

 

caps on*


*discard pumps & nozzles because of the metal

recycling cart

tubs

recycling cart

plastic milk jugs

 

lids on

recycling cart

clear plastic containers 

recycling cart

yogurt cups

recycling cart

Plastic buckets 

(up to 5 gallons)


Remove and discard metal handles if possible. 

recycling cart

Kitty litter buckets and jugs 


(up to 5 gallons in size) 

recycling cart

GARBAGE CART

GARBAGE CART

This is the stuff that goes into landfills and remains there for generations.   Reduce, reuse and/or donate these items whenever possible.         

plastic bags & wrap

 

Recycle plastic bags and wrap at local stores including:


Jewel-Osco, Mariano's, Target, Lowes, and Walmart

 

garbage cart

food


Read: How to start composting in Chicago
(There's a solution for everyone.)


via: Zero Waste Chicago

garbage cart

garden hoses

 

reuse ideas

garbage cart

clothes, rags, textiles, shoes

 

better yet, donate them

garbage cart

polystyrene 

aka: styrofoam


takeout containers, cups, plates, coolers, packing inserts etc.


drop-off for recycling

garbage cart

disposable cups

garbage cart

shredded paper


Drop off shredded paper for recycling at these events.

garbage cart

chip bags

garbage cart

drink pouches

garbage cart

oily or food crusted paper & cardboard

 

TIP: tear off the greasy parts and recycle the rest

garbage cart

diapers

garbage cart

napkins, paper towels, tissues

garbage cart

All glass except bottles and jars

garbage cart

disposable utensils, even the biodegradable ones

garbage cart

plastic plant pots


Return pots to nurseries for reuse.

garbage cart

vinyl

 

beach balls, shower curtains, inflatable toys, etc.

garbage cart

Coffee pods


garbage cart

pet poop

garbage cart

pet food bags

garbage cart

VHS & cassette tapes

garbage cart

incandescent light bulbs

 

note: fluorescent light bulbs cannot be disposed of curbside - see the hazardous section 

garbage cart

Christmas bulbs

garbage cart

hardback books

 

better yet, donate them to these local organizations


If the spine is removed, the paper can be recycled.

garbage cart

large plastics items, like

laundry baskets and crates.

garbage cart

metal cookie tins, pots and pans, cookie sheets, etc.

 

If they're worth donating, please do!

garbage cart

plastic toys

 

better yet: donate them

garbage cart

alkaline batteries


see the hazardous section for rechargeable battery disposal

garbage cart

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