Image of a young boy putting recyclable materials into a Blue Cart for recycling

Blue Cart & Recycling Drop-off Center: Accepted Materials

Materials that are accepted in the Chicago Blue Cart Program & Recycling Drop-off Centers:

  • 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

Find a Residential Recycling Drop Off Center


Materials that are NOT accepted in the Blue Cart Program & Recycling Drop-off Centers and should be donated if reusable:

  • 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)


To find an outlet for materials not accepted in the Blue Cart program, visit to use their recycling finder.