Recycling is incredibly important because it helps reduce waste, greenhouse gas pollution and litter. It is easy to recycle in Evanston because all acceptable materials can go in one container. See below for a full list of what can/cannot be recycled in Evanston.
Preparing Materials for Recycling Pick-up
Precycle - avoid buying products in containers that cannot be recycled.
Rinse all bottles, cans and containers. Flatten cardboard boxes and larger containers. Labels and plastic caps do not need to be removed. Place cans, bottles and paper together in your container.
Please don't package materials in plastic bags. Use paper bags instead and take plastic bags to the grocery store or select Evanston community centers for recycling (for drop off locations visit www.earth911.org). Plastic bags are not recycled through the City of Evanston's blue cart recycling program.
Set your container out by 7 a.m. on your collection day. Please note that condominium recycling will be picked up on Fridays rather than your regularly scheduled collection day. Put your address on your container and keep it in a safe place between collection days.
Missed Pick Ups
To report a missed recycling or yard waste collection call 311
Holiday Trash and Recycling Collection Schedule - check the holiday collection schedule for important information on garbage and recycling collection on holidays.
Report missing carts to 311 or 847-448-4311
Replacement carts are available for lost and damaged carts at no charge. Contact 311 or 847-448-4311 to order a replacement cart.
Plastic bags or packaging
#6 plastic (polystyrene)
Foam packaging (styrofoam)
Polylactide (PLA) containers (e.g. corn starch or sugar cane based)
Cookware or utensils
Partially filled aerosol or paint cans
Wax coated paper products
PLA coated paper (includes coffee cups and pet food bags)
Hard bound books
Food-contaminated paper (e.g. greasy pizza boxes)
Film or photos
Ceramics or glassware
Window glass or mirrors
Six pack and 12 pack rings
Learn more about how to recycling plastic film/bags through the City's: Plastic Film Collection and Share-a-Bag.
Visit the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County's Green Pages Reuse and Recycling Directory to seek outlets for items that are not collected through Evanston's program.
Cans and Foil:
- Steel (tin) cans & bi-metal cans
- Empty aerosol cans
- Aluminum beverage & pet food cans
- Clean aluminum foil & foil containers
- Empty, clean paint cans
- Metal lids larger than 3" in diameter
- Newspapers & inserts (remove plastic bags)
- Junk mail (opened) (Junk Mail Reduction)
- Office paper (all colors, including envelopes & fax paper)
- Gift wrap paper (no foil or frocked), kraft paper & greeting cards
- Magazines, catalogs, phone books & soft cover books
- Cardboard (flattened)
- Chipboard including cereal boxes, tissue boxes, paper towel & toilet paper rolls, shoe & food boxes (flattened)
- Egg cartons
- Paper bags
- Juice boxes and milk, water, and broth cartons (clean)
- All colors of glass bottles & jars. You do not need to remove labels. Rinse.
- Containers, bottles & lids labeled #1, #2, #3, #4 & #5, including liter soda bottles; milk, water & juice containers; food containers; liquid detergent, fabric softener, bleach & shampoo bottles. Rinse. Caps and lids must be on the container.
- Containers (narrow neck only) labeled #7