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Blue Cart Recycling Finally Set to Begin in 45th Ward

 Stacks of blue carts at a city facility are ready for delivery to homes on the far Northwest Side.
Stacks of blue carts at a city facility are ready for delivery to homes on the far Northwest Side.
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Ald. Tim Cullerton

JEFFERSON PARK — Residents who live north of Montrose Avenue and west of Cicero Avenue in the 41st and 45th wards will finally receive blue carts for recycling next week, two aldermen said.

Nearly 31,000 far Northwest Side residents will be among the last in the city to get the carts — and finally be able to stop hauling bags of pop cans, beer bottles and stacks of old newspapers to the city's recycling centers.

The Department of Streets and Sanitation will begin delivering the carts Monday, and it should take two to three weeks for all of the houses to get their carts, Ald. John Arena (45th) said.

The first pickup is scheduled for Oct. 21.

At the beginning of July, city officials announced carts for homes north of Montrose and west of Cicero would arrive by the end of September. Arena said his office learned two weeks ago the cart delivery had been delayed.

Based on the original schedule, city officials closed recycling collection centers at the City Clerk's Office, 5430 W. Gale St., and the Caldwell Woods Forest Preserve at Devon and Milwaukee avenues. Arena said his office ordered that the bins be returned, and available for dropoffs until Nov. 1.

City spokesman Bill McCaffrey said carts will be delivered as scheduled starting Monday "fulfilling Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel’s commitment to expand recycling to all corners of Chicago in 2013."

The carts will be delivered to the front yards of single-family homes and apartment buildings with no more than four units. The program allows residents to dump unsorted paper, bottles, cans and some plastics into the blue carts, which are picked up twice a month.

Ald. Mary O'Connor (41st) said she was pleased that "after years of anticipation" the wait for blue cart recycling on the far Northwest Side was coming to an end.

"I truly appreciate your patience over the past two years as I advocated to bring recycling to the 41st Ward," O'Connor wrote in an email message to her constituents.

Arena will host a 45th Ward Blue Cart Recycling Meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Hitch Elementary School, 5625 N. McVicker Ave.

At the meeting, experts will offer tips on how residents can maximize recycling, Arena said.