As Evanston works towards achieving its Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) goal of zero waste by 2050, the City has launched a month-long educational campaign to improve residents’ recycling habits and reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill.

Throughout the month of September, the City’s “Nope” campaign will highlight common items that mistakenly end up in recycling carts, disrupting the sorting process and resulting in less material recycled.

Items that should not be placed in recycling carts include plastic bags, including garbage bags and grocery bags; items containing food or liquid; greasy pizza boxes; coffee cups; assembled cardboard boxes; wires, hangers and hoses; batteries and electronics; medical waste, including syringes; paper towels and food-soiled paper.

“We all want to do the right thing and recycle responsibly, but it’s important that materials that disrupt the recycling process are left out of our carts,” said Kevin Johnson, the City’s recycling and environmental maintenance supervisor. “Plastic bags are one of the biggest culprits, as they jam equipment used to sort recyclables. The good news is community members can recycle plastic bags at City community centers and grocery stores – just not in their recycling carts.”

To reach residents, the City will be sharing a series of images and animated videos on social media throughout the month, as well as branding three City recycling trucks with informational messaging. Community members can also take the City’s Facebook quiz to test their recycling IQ. Videos, images and information about what can and cannot be recycled can be found at

“Reaching Evanston’s ambitious zero-waste goal will take a communitywide effort, and responsible recycling is just one piece of the puzzle,” said Kumar Jensen, the City’s Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer. “Residents can also reduce waste by composting through the City’s seasonal Food and Yard Waste Service or year-round through Collective Resource, the City’s exclusive food scrap hauler.”

More information about composting and other waste services can be found at