ROGERS PARK — More than 131,000 homes across the city will begin receiving curbside recycling pickups in March and April, city officials said Wednesday.
The homes in neighborhoods in the 49th and 50th wards, including Rogers Park and West Ridge, began receiving blue carts on Monday, and service will begin as early as March 11.
"We're thrilled," said Ald. Joe Moore (49th). "The absence of the blue carts was a glaring omission in Rogers Park, especially with the make-up of this community."
Downtown, the Near North Side, Near West Side and most of the West Side north of the Eisenhower Expressway will also start receiving service between March 11 and 18.
Another area roughly bordered by Cicero, Diversey, Pulaski and North will also begin receiving service between March 11 and 18. Also included in the roll-out is an area on the South Side bordered by 71st and 87th streets and State Street and Western Avenue.
Other neighborhoods, mainly on the South Side, will begin receiving carts April 15 and pickup will begin April 29.
Another 200,000 homes will get the service by the fall, officials said.
"We were a tale of two cities when it came to recycling," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "You cannot be a green city without recycling citywide."
Each single-family home or apartment building of up to four units will be able to take advantage of the service.
The program allows residents to dump unsorted paper, bottles, cans and some plastics into blue bins, which are then picked up twice a month by city crews.
On Wednesday, crews began to dole out the blue bins to homes in West Ridge near Skokie.
"We're gonna be doing this for a long time," said city worker David Ramirez who, with several other workers, assembled stacks of blue carts in front of a row of bungalows on Albany Avenue.
For 49th Ward residents, Moore plans to host an informational meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Rogers Park library, 6907 N. Clark St.
For those living in the 50th Ward, Ald. Debra Silverstein has planned two meetings about the program. The first is set for 7 p.m. Thursday and the second 7 p.m. Feb. 28, both at the Northtown Library, 6435 N. California Ave.