Streets & Sanitation

Recycling Pick-Up Schedule - Houses and Buildings with 4 or fewer units

This is for households and buildings with fewer than four units. Make sure your Blue Carts are available curbside or in the alley—whichever you do for trash pick-up. Here’s everything you should know about recycling in Chicago (including a quiz and tips).

Quick links:

Trash Pick-Up

The city picks up for single family homes and buildings with 4 units or less. Larger buildings (apartment and condos) must hire private collection services.

Pick-up schedule - Thursdays or Fridays, depending on where you live in Albany Park
Large and bulky items - You can request a pick-up (sometimes free, sometimes not).
Leaf removal - Put them in a paper or plastic bag, then call 311.

Graffiti Removal

When you see graffiti,whether it’s gang graff, tagging or etching, please report it as soon as possible.

What to report:

  • Location (approximate address, if it’s on the alley, etc.)
  • What surface it’s on
  • How high up it is
  • A picture (If you suspect it is a gang tag, a picture helps as they make those a priority for removal and assists with prosecution of taggers).

There are multiple methods to report:

  • Visit  311 Website
  • SeeClickFix - mobile app
  • Call 311
  • Follow up with
    • Your alderman’s office (email or phone—especially if you’re seeing a rash of gang-related graffiti) [ link to government officials page]

    • 17th District police, who want photos and location of tags (email

Finally, if you’re handy and also can’t wait for Graffiti Blasters, consider picking up a bottle of this cleaner recommended by other neighborhood associations, SoSafe Graffiti Remover. It’s pricey, but very effective.

Snow Removal

Plowing is now done on a grid, instead of a ward-by-ward basis. For a real-time look at Streets & San’s plowing, check out Clear Streets. If your area is not receiving plowing services, do notify your alderman [link to government officials page] and call 311. Remember that alleys are never plowed and that “dibs” is a tacky and unneighborly tradition.

To report businesses and neighbors who habitually fail to remove snow from sidewalks, call 311 or report to 311 online.

Consider working with neighbors to shovel out out corners, drains, sidewalks of elderly or physically challenged neighbors, and parking spots (make dibbs irrelevant).  This could also lead to the formation of a block club.


Litter encourages more litter.  If you see it, pick it up. Schedule a regular litter pick-up day with your neighbors (which could lead to the formation of a block club).

Problem businesses - If there is a business that doesn’t clean up the sidewalks or alleys by its business, politely discuss with the owner/manager.  If that doesn’t work, take pictures, note the dates and times, and report it to your alderman. Your alderman can then work with the business (or fine the business) if the issues aren’t resolved.  (Also, remember that businesses face the same litter issues that homeowners face; sometimes the business isn’t the problem, but the people walk by who litter on their sidewalks after the business closes for the day.)

Street Sweeping

Street sweeping occurs from April into November, approximately every 4-5 weeks. The schedule and maps can be found by Ward here. Individual wards may add additional dates as needed.