Rosa Peñalosa shovels out La Cocina de Rosita after a heavy snowfall this weekend in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on February 1, 2021. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — The city is asking residents to dig out alley garbage and recycling carts after weeks of snow.

The city’s gotten more than a foot of snow in recent weeks, and more is expected Friday night and Saturday.

During heavy snowfall, garbage and recycling carts get buried, making it impossible for the city’s workers to access and empty the carts. The city is asking people to shovel out the area around their carts so crews can do their jobs.

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Additionally, the city requires neighbors to clear at least a 5-foot-wide path on sidewalks so everyone can safely travel on them, as snow can pose a hazard to seniors, people with disabilities and children. Snow that falls between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. must be removed by 10 p.m., according to the city.

“When you shovel sidewalks, keep the snow in the parkway. Please don’t shovel it onto the street,” said Cristina Villarreal, Streets and Sanitation spokesperson. 

People who live on narrow streets should also park as close as possible to the curb so snow plow drivers can easily get through, according to the city.

For a full guide on snow removal rules, including special instructions for corner lots, visit or download this guide.

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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park reporterrnrnalex@blockclubchi.orgnnLincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park Twitter @avhndz