Chicago Residential Recycling Guidelines

Reduce, Reuse, RECYCLE 

Have you just moved to Chicago and are not sure about recycling practices?  Our community has recycling programs in place, including both Blue Carts and a Recycling Center.  The following list will help you know what can be recycled through these resources.

  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Aluminum cans, foil and pie tins
  • Tin or Steel cans
  • Cereal boxes, paper towel rolls
  • Cardboard (flatten all boxes)
  • Plastic bottles and containers (# 1-5, 7 accepted)
  • Junk mail, magazines and catalogs
  • Telephone books
  • Paper bags
  • Office paper and file folders
  • Newspaper and inserts
  • Beverage cartons (milk, juice, soy cartons)
  • Beverage carrier stock: plastic rings and cardboard carrying cases
  • wrapping paper (no bows or ribbons, please)
  • paper greeting cards

Certain items are not able to be recycled and are listed below.

  • Clothes and linens
  • Plastic or metal hangers
  • #6 Plastics (polystyrene or Styrofoam)
  • Diapers or feminine products
  • Construction debris (bricks, wood, cement, etc.)
  • Paint or spray paint
  • Unnumbered plastics (toothbrushes, toys, hoses, cereal box liners, etc.)
  • Loose plastic shopping bags (bring those back to retailers for recycling)
  • Hard, reusable plastic bottles (like Nalgene or baby bottles)

Ideas on recycling and other earth-saving trends are available here.

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