Blue Cart Recyling Begins in the 1st Ward in June by Mary Szpur

Blue carts have been delivered to all single-family homes and buildings with less than five
units who currently receive city trash pickup in the 1st Ward. Blue bags are no longer
needed to dispose of recyclables. Watch how little trash ends up in the black carts, if you
learn what you can recycle, and you recycle all that you can!

Collection of recyclables from the new blue carts begins the week of June 4. The Streets
and Sanitation Department delivered the carts to the front of buildings in order to make residents
“take ownership” of the carts and relocate them to the alley themselves. A ratio of
one blue cart per single-family home or two-flat was used. To request additional blue carts, call 311, but
you may lose a black cart if you request an additional blue cart.

The blue carts will be emptied by a separate truck on a separate route from the regular Streets and Sanitation
garbage trucks. Blue carts will be emptied every TWO weeks on the same day as your regular garbage
service—schedules were delivered with the blue carts.

Recyclables do not need to be sorted and can be placed all together in the carts. Carts
have a laminated, easy-to-understand label on the lid listing what can be recycled into the
cart: glass, aluminum, tin or steel cans, boxes, cardboard (please flatten all boxes), plastic
bottles (corresponding to numbers on container bottoms of 1,2,3,4,5,7—not 6, which is
styrofoam), phone books, magazines and catalogs, junk mail, paper bags, office paper
and folders, newspapers and inserts. Do not recycle bundles of plastic bags, such as
bunches of grocery plastic bags.

Recyclables will be taken to a huge, fully automated sorting facility that uses incredible technology to sort
and bundle the materials. Big profitable markets (such as China) now exist for recyclable materials, and
the city will make $30-40 per ton on average for these materials. Most profitable are aluminum cans.
Yard waste (grass, leaves, small branches, weeds, plants, small stick bundles) needs to be bagged in
plastic or paper and placed next to garbage carts for recyling and composting, April through November.
Do not put yard waste in the black carts anymore! Yard waste will be picked up by a third separate truck
on a separate route.

Hazardous waste and household electronics (such as computers, cell phones, batteries,
fluorescent lamps and bulsbs, used motor oil, antifreeze, old gasoline, paints and paint
thinners, aerosol paints, insecticides, pesticides, lawn chemicals, solvents, drain cleaners,
cleaning products, pool and hobby chemicals, mercury) can be recycled in our own
neighborhood at the Household Chemical & Computer Recycling Facility at 1150 N.
North Branch. This facility is located two blocks east of the Kennedy Expressway at Division
Street. The facility is open to the public on Tuesdays (7 am – noon), Thursdays ( 2
pm – 7 pm), and the first Saturday on the month (8 am – 3 pm).

Batteries, used and rechargeable, can also be recycled at Walgreens (at the photo booth),
and Chicago public libraries.
For more information call 311 or visit www.bluecartschicago.com . This site also has information
on composting.