Chicago Recycles

The City's residential Blue Cart program provides bi-weekly recycling services to single-family homes and multi-unit buildings with four or fewer units.  Blue Carts are serviced by the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) along with the City’s recycling contractor. Check out the new story map to see the journey of your recyclables from the point of pick-up! You’ll see where the recyclables go to be sorted, the tonnage of recyclables collected, and the destinations for processing into new materials.



To see a full-screen version of the storymap click here.


One of the goals of Chicago’s Climate Action Plan is to increase resident awareness on recycling and sustainability through targeted and equitable education for Chicagoans. When residents commit to daily recycling, it brings the following BENEFITS to our city and our world.


Chicago Recycles



The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), in partnership with the Chicago Park District, is hosting their annual Holiday Tree Recycling Program at 27 locations throughout the Chicago.

Each year, thousands of trees are mulched through the program, diverting trees from landfills and creating mulch for city residents, local parks and forests.

Live and natural holiday trees can be dropped off inside the tree recycling corrals at the designated locations. All ornaments, lights, tinsel, and tree stands must be removed before the tree is dropped off, and plastic bags used for transport should also be removed prior to placing the trees in the corrals.

More details

Through the 2021 City of Chicago Waste Strategy, a comprehensive waste and materials management plan, DSS is working to decrease waste disposal and associated negative environmental impacts; reduce costs and increase efficiency; maximize economic investment and workforce development opportunities; and address social and environmental justice inequities. Check out our Chicago Waste Progress Update and stay tuned to this site for new programs and opportunities!

 Recycle by City logo



For more information on residential recycling, please also visit Recycle by City, the City’s recycling education partner.