City of Chicago Announces Third Phase of Citywide Recycling Expansion

July 29, 2013

Approximately 69,000 Households to Receive Blue Cart Recycling Services Beginning August 12; Blue Cart Delivery Begins Today

The City of Chicago announced today that approximately 69,000 households will receive blue cart recycling services beginning August 12, as part of the third phase of the 2013 citywide expansion; a key 2013 budget initiative for the Mayor.

The blue cart recycling program promotes sound recycling practices and is making Chicago a greener, more environmentally friendly city,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Adopting new strategies is allowing us to expand blue cart recycling to every community in 2013, and all residents will soon have better access to recycling services.”

In 2011, Mayor Emanuel implemented a managed competition for recycling services in an effort to create efficiencies and reduce operational costs on behalf of taxpayers.  In one year, the competition decreased recycling costs by $4.7 million and paved the way for the citywide recycling expansion.

The blue cart recycling program provides bi-weekly recycling collection services to residents who live in single family homes, two-, three- and four-flat buildings.  Currently, 450,000 households receive blue cart recycling service.

Residents who live within the boundaries of the phase three expansion area will begin receiving carts today, July 29 and recycling collection services will begin on August 12 or August 19, depending on the service area.  Subsequent phases will be announced as collection schedules and routes are finalized. Chicago’s recycling service providers include the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, Sims Municipal Recycling, and Waste Management.

All blue carts will be delivered to the front of buildings, enabling crews to assign the cart to the correct street address.  Carts will contain educational literature about the blue cart recycling program, including information about the types of materials that can be diverted for recycling, as well as service schedule.

The blue cart residential recycling program is a single stream recycling system in which all recyclable materials are collected and transported together. Recyclables are picked up and transported in designated recycling trucks to avoid contamination with regular garbage.

For more information about the blue cart recycling program, resident should call 311 or visit


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Blue Cart Recycling Expansion Map

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