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recycling cart

BLUE CART

RECYCLING


Recycle these loose in the cart without a bag. No food or liquids.

These items are taken to a recycling facility where they are sorted by material, then sold to manufacturers to make new products.

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aluminum cans

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steel & tin cans

 

labels okay

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clean aluminum foil

 

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

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disposable foil

pie and baking tins

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aerosol cans

 

must be completely empty so they don't

explode during recycling

 

recycle lids separately

Go bagless.

 

Put recyclables loose in the recycling cart, without a bag. 



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Recyclables placed in bags will be sent to the landfill.  


Learn more: Go bagless, here's why.




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cartons

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glass jars

 

recycle lids separately

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glass bottles

 

no corks please!

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junk mail & office paper

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newspaper

 

no plastic sleeves

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phone & paperback books

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magazines & catalogs

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wrapping paper


no glittery or metallic paper

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cardboard egg crates

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sticky notes

(aka: Post It® notes)

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cardboard

(flatten to save room) 

 

no greasy cardboard

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shoe boxes, gift boxes

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food boxes

 

no plastic liners

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cardboard cores

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paper bags

 

reuse tip:

paper bags make for some fine gift wrapping.

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



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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.  


 

 

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plastic bottles from kitchen

 

lids on

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plastic bottles

 from bathroom

  

lids on

 

discard pumps & nozzles because of the metal

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plastic bottles 

from laundry room and cleaning closet

 

lids on

 

discard nozzles because of the metal 

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clear plastic containers 

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plastic
takeout containers

 

no styrofoam

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plastic tubs

 

yogurt, margarine etc.

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plastic jugs

 

lids on

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Plastic buckets 

(up to 5 gallons)


Remove and discard metal handles if possible. 

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Kitty litter buckets and jugs 


(up to 5 gallons in size) 

To order a recycling cart call 3-1-1.


Click to view more city services. 

Printable Recycling Guide English Spanish
Caution

SPECIAL HANDLING

REQUIRED


These items contain toxins that require special handling.


Refer to the back of each item for guidance. 

Caution

rechargeable batteries

 

drop off:  

Best Buy, Staples, Lowes,

HCCRF

 

map & details

 

Alkaline batteries go in the garbage cart.

Caution

electronics/e-waste

 

drop off:

Best Buy

Staples

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

 

Harsh cleaners, solvents, flammable liquids, pesticides, etc. 

 

drop off:

HCCRF 

 

map & details

Caution

metal tanks 


drop off:

HCCRF


map & details


Return undamaged, refillable 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

 


Use caution when disposing of broken fluorescent

light bulbs...

Caution

Here's how to do it safely:

 

epa.gov

Caution

motor oil

 

drop-off: 

Jiffy Lube

Oil Express

O'Reilly Auto 

HCCRF

 

map & details

 

pick-up by request

REQUEST

PICKUP

via 311

 

 

 

Call 311  to request these free pickup services.

pick-up by request

bulky items

appliances, furniture


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

 

Or call 311  to request pick-up, free of charge. 

pick-up by request

leaves & yard clippings

 

Bag leaves in a paper or plastic bag and call 311 to request pick-up.

 

The City offers free mulch made from yard clippings. 

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GARBAGE 

CART

 

 

This is the stuff that goes into landfills and remains there for generations.

 

Reduce, reuse and/or donate these items whenever possible. 

 

 

 

 

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plastic bags & wrap

 

Recycle plastic bags and wrap at local stores including:


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

 

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food


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


via: Zero Waste Chicago

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garden hoses

 

reuse ideas

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clothes, rags, textiles, shoes

 

better yet, donate them

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polystyrene 

aka: styrofoam


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


drop-off for recycling

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Shredded paper


Drop off shredded paper for recycling at these events.

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chip bags

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drink pouches

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wet, oily or food crusted paper & cardboard

 

TIP: tear off the greasy parts and recycle the rest

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all diapers

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napkins, paper towels, tissues

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disposable cups

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Any glass except bottles and jars

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disposable utensils, even the biodegradable ones

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Plastic Plant Pots


Return pots to nurseries for reuse.

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vinyl

 

beach balls, shower curtains, inflatable toys, etc.

Love a beautiful garden?

 

Transform yard & food waste into nutrient-rich compost.

 

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Using compost in your yard saves water and reduces or eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers.

 

Here's helpful information to get you started.

 

 

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animal droppings

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pet food bags

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VHS & cassette tapes

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incandescent light bulbs

 

note: fluorescent light bulbs cannot be disposed of curbside.

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Christmas bulbs

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hardback books

 

better yet, donate them to these local organizations


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

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large plastics items, like

laundry baskets and crates.

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

 

If they're worth donating, please do!

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plastic toys

 

better yet: donate them

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alkaline batteries

Feedback:

Our Chicago Partner

City of Chicago

Stay informed.

Get notified about updates to your city's recycling program.