City removes West Loop recycling bins
August 4, 2017

City recycling workers examine recyclables. The City is phasing out recycling centers, encouraging residents to use blue bins or have their private disposal service pick up recyclables. (Photo courtesy City of Chicago)

Recycling bins had been available to the public for many years at 1517 W. Warren Blvd. at Ashland Ave., a lot where the City of Chicago’s Traffic Management Authority parks its vehicles. The City recently removed the bins.

Many area residents want the recycling bins back at southeast corner of the intersection, but the City has no plans to do so.

“Recycling bins in public areas are being phased out,” stated Sara McGann, spokesperson for the Department of Streets and Sanitation. She explained this action resulted from a City ordinance that went into effect in January 2017 that encourages recycling at residential sites.

Buildings with four or more units must have their disposal service provide recycling bins. Owners of single-family houses and buildings with fewer than four units may request recycling bins from the City by calling 3-1-1. 

McGann also said the City encourages requests for multiple recycling bins and “gladly” provides them.

Pryce Word, spokesperson for Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. (27th Ward), said Burnett cannot make the City return the bins to the Traffic Management Authority lot because “he does not have jurisdiction.” 

McGann said reasons for phasing out recycling centers include their frequent contamination with items not allowed for recycling.

The City recycles glass jars and bottles; aluminum, tin, and steel cans; foil; pie tins; plastic bottles and containers marked 1 through 5 and 7; beverage cartons such as those for milk, juice, and soy; beverage carrier stock (plastic rings and cardboard carrying cases); paper; paper towel rolls; flattened cardboard boxes; junk mail; magazines; catalogs; telephone books; paper bags; office paper; file folders; newspapers and inserts; wrapping paper without bows or ribbons; and paper greeting cards.

For more information on City of Chicago recycling log on to

—Marie Balice-Ward