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Refuse & Recycling Guidelines

Contact Us

Public Works and Engineering
General Inquiries

P: 847.391.5464
1111 Joseph J. Schwab Road
Des Plaines, IL  60016

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
7:30 am to 4:00 pm

Guidelines for Collection

Please view the Republic Services Brochure to see the service provider's guidelines for residential refuse and recycling in the City of Des Plaines. For your convenience, we have also included quick links to the information that may be of the most use to you.

Correct Methods of Waste Disposal For...(TOP)

“Odd” Items for Disposal:

Refuse & Recycling Carts

Green Cart (Garbage) vs Blue Cart (Recycling)

For Des Plaines residents who have the City's contracted garbage collector, Republic Services, each resident is provided with one green cart for garbage and one blue cart for recycling. Residents may rent additional carts by contacting the company directly at 847.981.0091. Republic Services should also be contacted to schedule a date if a cart is damaged and needs repair or replacement. (Back to top)

Accepted Recyclables

The City cares about the environment and wants to lend a helping hand when it comes to recycling.  The following items listed below are collected in recycling carts, or paper bags that are next to recycling carts. 

 Metals  Aluminum cans, clean foil, tin/steel/bi metal cans, and empty steel aerosol cans.
 Glass  Clear and colored glass containers. No windowpane glass.
 Plastic  #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and #7 containers. No plastic bags. No packing peanuts
 Paper Milk/juice cartons, drink boxes, newspaper, junk mail, telephone books, chip board. Corrugated cardboard must be cut unto 2' x 2' pieces and tied or in paper bags.

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The residential waste hauler, Republic Services, collects refrigerators, freezers, washers, and dryers from single-family and multi-family houses up to four units. Doors must be removed from the appliance. Place the appliance curbside by 6 AM on the same day as refuse collection. There is no additional cost for this service. However there is a limit of appliance and/or piece of furniture each week. (Back to top)


Automobile batteries: Residents ONLY may bring automobile batteries to Public Works (1111 Joseph J. Schwab Road) Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. Limit 2. 

Household batteries: Residents ONLY may bring household batteries to Public Works. Nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, and small sealed lead batteries accepted. Batteries over 1.5V must be taped. (Back to top)

Bulk Garbage

Republic Services is contracted with the City to collect: carpet rolls (tied, four foot width max.), mattresses/box springs, couches, lawn care equipment (fluids must be removed), disassembled swing sets (no longer than five foot lengths), BBQ grills, disassembled toilets (in two pieces), plumbing fixtures, snow blowers, shovels, toys, bicycles, water softeners, and empty water heaters. This pertains to single-family and multi-family homes up to four units. Please place items out by 6 AM on the same day as refuse collection. All other bulk items may require a charge to the resident. Limit of one bulk item collected each week. Call 847.391.5464 for details. (Back to top)

Construction Debris

Republic Services is contracted to collect construction debris from small do-it-yourself projects. This applies to single-family and multi-family homes up to four units. Debris must be placed in the garbage cart and be prepared in a way that allows the lid of the cart to close. Material that cannot be placed into carts is limited to ONE CUBIC YARD (3 ft. x 3 ft. x 3 ft.) and must be bundled. Bundles may not exceed 4 ft. in length or 50 lbs. in weight and must be placed at the curbside next to the wheeled carts. Doors should be cut in half, when possible. Nails must be removed from all boards. Republic Services is not responsible for collecting concrete, brick or asphalt. 

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Elgin also accepts re-usable, undamaged housing materials such as doors, flooring, lumber, hardware, etc. 847.742.9905. (Back to top)

Electronics Recycling

The City has a contract for electronic waste disposal with Republic Services which pertains to Des Plaines residents living in single family or multi-family homes up to four units. Electronic-waste (or e-waste) such as computers, televisions, etc., is accepted curbside by Republic Services on your regularly scheduled garbage day. A courtesy call to Republic Services at 847.981.0091 is appreciated, especially for large items over 50 pounds.

The City of Des Plaines also has a recycling program that is for Des Plaines residents ONLY. Please be sure to bring a valid form of identification showing your Des Plaines address for participation in the recycling program. Accepted every Wednesday from 8:00 am until 3:00 p.m., at the Public Works Garage located at 1111 Joseph J. Schwab (Campground) Road is all computer components, phone equipment, hand-held electronics, DVD and VCR players, and televisions. Household appliances (white goods) will NOT be accepted.

  The City’s contracted recycling company will wipe all computer hard drives to the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) standards. Computers that meet requirements are then refurbished while unusable equipment is recycled responsibly in accordance with the Illinois Electronics Reuse & Recycling Act. (Back to top)

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Hardware stores including Ace, Home Depot and True Value accept compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s) for recycling. Click here for a list of locations. Another option, for Des Plaines residents ONLY, is to bring household fluorescent light bulbs to Public Works (1111 Joseph J. Schwab Road) Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. Limit 4.  (Back to top)

Household Hazardous Waste

Year round Household Hazardous Waste disposal is available through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) at the following locations. Please contact IEPA at 217.785.8604 or check their website at for further information.

Chicago, Illinois
P: 312.744.7672
1150 N. North Branch
Located on Goose Island

Naperville, Illinois
P: 630.420.6095
156 Fort Hill Drive
Public Works

Rockford, Illinois
P: 815.387.7400
3333 Kishwaukee
Rock River Reclamation District

The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) in Gurnee also accepts Household Hazardous Waste, by appointment only, twice per month: the second Saturday of every month and the fourth Monday of every month (except December). To schedule an appointment, contact SWALCO at 847.336.9340. (Back to Top)

Motor Oil

Oil Express accepts motor oil and oil filters for recycling, 1340 Lee Street, Des Plaines. 847.296.7059. Other garages may also accept items. (Back to top)


Open LATEX paint can(s) in a well-ventilated area and allow the paint to dry and harden completely (this may take a few days). An absorbent such as cat litter, sand or shredded paper may be added to absorb the moisture. Make sure the mixture is completely dry before disposing of the latex paint can in the garbage container. OIL-BASED paints must be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste Facility. (Back to top)

Prescription Medication Disposal

Make the right move and prevent prescription drugs from entering our sewer system. When placing unused pharmaceuticals in the trash, the Illinois EPA recommends the following: 1) remove or mark over all labels that identify the materials as pharmaceuticals or that could provide personal information about you, including prescription information that someone could try to refill; 2) render the medication unattractive to children and thieves by dissolving them in a small amount of water or alcohol, or by grinding them up and mixing them with coffee grounds or kitty litter; and 3) put them in a second container or small plastic bag and hide them in your trash. Check out the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to find a local medication disposal site. (Back to top)


Des Plaines residents may bring tires (no rims) to our Public Works facility located at 1111 Joseph J. Schwab Road, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. Limit 2 tires per drop-off. (Back to top)