This week is recycling pickup in the 49th Ward and judging by the calls and emails to my service office, many folks still seem confused about the recent change in rules for how to dispose of recyclables in the blue carts picked up by city crews.
So here’s the bottom line:
Don’t put your recyclables in blue cart bins inside a plastic bag. Just put your items loose in the cart. Recyclables contained in bags of any kind will no longer be accepted.
Plastic bags damage equipment at sorting facilities and also keep workers from seeing whether other non-recyclables–such as greasy pizza boxes or Styrofoam–are in the cart. Going bagless not only helps our environment, but also reduces unnecessary costs that the City incurs as a result of contaminated blue carts.
So lose the bag, and keep the recycling!
Recycling in your blue cart is easy. Some simple tips for going bagless include:
- Throwing recyclables directly into the blue cart throughout the week.
- Using a garbage can, bin or container to collect recyclables in your house. Then bring the full container out and toss the items directly into your blue cart.
- Using a bag to collect and carry recyclables out to your blue cart. Then toss the items out of the bag and directly into your blue cart. You can then reuse the bag.
To clarify what can and can’t be recycled, the Department of Streets & Sanitation has launched a new website—Recycle by City Chicago–that clears up misconceptions and provides a better visual representation of how to recycle correctly.
Recycling is picked up every other week in the 49th Ward. If your blue cart is in the alley, it will be picked up sometime during the week, but not necessarily on your regular garbage pickup day. If you take your black cart to the street curb, also take your blue cart on your regular garbage pickup day.
To view a map that tells you the schedule for regular garbage pickup, click here.
To view a map that tells you the schedule for blue cart recycling pickup, click here.
Buildings with five units or more must contract with private waste haulers for trash and recycling pickup. While the specifics will vary by company, the majority of area waste haulers offer single-stream recycling services, and many buildings report that their bills go down once effective recycling is implemented.
If your apartment, condo, or co-op building does not have recycling, please contact our office. We are happy to work with 49th Ward residents to help them start recycling programs in their buildings.