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Sanitation Code Violation

Chicago's sanitation code is a series of municipal ordinances that require cleanliness and the safe disposal of all trash and debris. Since mid-1994, a major crackdown on overflowing dumpsters has been underway in Chicago. General sanitation guidelines are as follows:

  • Residential Garbage is defined as that produced from households in single-family homes or apartment buildings of four units or less (others must arrange for private garbage collection).
  • Keep lids tightly closed on garbage containers; never let raw garbage sit outside the container.
  • Always remove doors or lids from discarded refrigerators and freezers, and arrange with your Streets and Sanitation ward superintendent for a bulk pick-up before putting out any large item or extra load of trash (after cleaning your basement or attic, for example).
  • Owners of apartment buildings must provide sufficient garbage containers for all tenants and arrange for private or licensed scavenger pick-up service.
  • If remodeling, you are responsible for removing discarded building materials; dumpsters can be rented for this purpose.
  • Owners of vacant and unimproved lots are responsible for their upkeep. Litter, debris and abandoned vehicles must be removed; weeds cannot be allowed to grow more than 10 inches tall.
  • Material stored on private property must be neatly stacked on open racks and placed at least 18 inches above the ground.

Businesses must abide by the above regulations, as well as:

  • arrange for the garbage to be removed by a licensed scavenger service.
  • have sufficient containers to hold all garbage.
  • avoid using city containers for restaurant or food garbage.
  • use and maintain a clean grease box.
  • break down cardboard boxes before leaving them outside for collection.

A commercial dumpsters must have information prominently displayed on the exterior identifying the user of the dumpster, in addition to the previous requirement that the scavenger company servicing each bin be identified on all dumpsters.

Each ward has a superintendent responsible for coordinating local garbage pick-up, sanitation code enforcement, snow removal operations and other services. These ward superintendents also monitor their sections of the city for any non-Sanitation Bureau services that might be needed, reporting these to the appropriate bureau or outside agency for attention.

Report Sanitation Code Violation


Department Main Office

Streets & Sanitation