Press Release
October 21, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Announces Recycling Expansion Complete as Final Phase Reaches the Last 72,000 Households

600,000 Households Across the City Now Receive Recycling Services
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the citywide blue cart recycling program is in the final week of cart delivery, completing the citywide recycling expansion to more than 600,000 Chicago households and following through on a key 2013 budget initiative. 

“With the final phase of the blue cart recycling expansion, Chicago is no longer the tale of two cities when it comes to recycling,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “Recycling is now a reality for every neighborhood in every community, and we have made Chicago a greener, more environmentally friendly city.”

In 2011, Mayor Emanuel implemented a managed competition for recycling services in an effort to create efficiencies and reduce operational costs on behalf of taxpayers.  In one year, the competition decreased recycling costs by $4.7 million and paved the way for the citywide recycling expansion.

The blue cart recycling program provides bi-weekly recycling collection services to residents who live in single family homes, two-, three- and four-flat buildings. 

More than 72,000 residents who live within the boundaries of the final expansion phase began receiving carts on October 7, and all blue cart deliveries will be completed on October 26.  Recycling collection services start today, October 21 or October 28, depending on the service area. Chicago’s recycling service providers include the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, Sims Municipal Recycling, and Waste Management.

All blue carts will be delivered to the front of buildings, enabling crews to assign the cart to the correct street address.  Carts will contain educational literature about the blue cart recycling program, including information about the types of materials that can be diverted for recycling, as well as service schedule.  Throughout September and October, the Department of Streets and Sanitation held community meeting to help residents learn about blue cart recycling. 

The blue cart residential recycling program is a single stream recycling system in which all recyclable materials are collected and transported together. Recyclables are picked up and transported in designated recycling trucks to avoid contamination with regular garbage.

For more information about the blue cart recycling program, resident should call 311 or visit  chicagorecycles.org

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