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How Chicago Garbage Pickup Works on on MLK Day and Other Holidays – NBC Chicago

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which falls this year on Monday, Jan. 16, is a federal holiday across the country, meaning banks, government offices, and the United States Post Office is closed.

It also means your regular garbage, trash and recycling pickup and collection may be impacted.

According to the City of Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department, garbage pickup days vary by which district or ward you live in.

According to the city’s Sanitation Divisions map, at least 10 wards have their garbage pickup day scheduled for Mondays. However, a schedule from the city shows that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one of nine days that the city does not collect garbage.

The other non-scheduled garbage pick up dates for 2023 are Pulaski Day on Mar. 6; Memorial Day on May 29, Juneteenth Day on June 19, Independence Day on July 4, Labor Day on Sept. 4, Columbus Day on Oct. 9, Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 23, and Christmas Day on Dec. 25

In some cases, garbage pickup will take place on the next business day. However, residents can call the city at 311 to find out what precisely which day garbage pickup is scheduled for, if their regular collection day falls on an observed holiday.

In addition to non-scheduled garbage services, some offices, businesses and schools across the state are closed or have altered hours in observance of the federal holiday.

Here’s an overview of what’s open and closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in and across Chicago.

Public Libraries

Many public libraries across the state on Monday, Jan. 16, including all branches of the Chicago Public Library, are closed.

United States Post Office

The USPS will be closed on MLK Day, and mail will not be delivered. Here’s the full list of holidays that the post office observes.


Many museums and cultural centers across the state remain open, with several hosting events honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King. Additionally the US National Park Service will be offering no-cost admission to all of its parks on Monday, Jan. 16 as part of its 2023 “fee-free days.”

Drivers Services Facilities

All Illinois Secretary of State Offices, including driver services facilities will be closed, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a press release from the Secretary of State says.

All offices and facilities will be open for business and resume normal hours Tuesday.


According to the Federal Reserve Bank, “all nonessential federal offices and many financial institutions are closed for business.”

Retail, restaurants, grocery stores

While most government functions will not be operating on Monday, most grocery stores, big box stores and restaurants will remain open.

Major chain stores such as Target, Costco, Walmart, The Home Depot, Jewel-Osco and Mariano’s will remain open on the holiday.

Although post offices will be closed, FedEx and UPS retail locations will remain open with normal hours.


As for schools, school districts in Illinois are able to choose whether or not to celebrate the holiday. Classes for Chicago Public Schools will not be in session on Monday.

For students in the Illinois districts that do have school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day however, a new law may apply, allowing them an excused absence in exchange for engaging in a civic activity.

House Bill 5488, which took effect Jan. 1, 2023, states that any public middle or high school student will be permitted at least one “day-long excused absence from school to engage in a civic event.”

According to the bill’s text, a “civic event” is defined by an “event sponsored by a non-profit organization or government entity that is open to the public,” and can include “an artistic or cultural performance or educational gathering that supports the mission of the sponsoring non-profit organization.”

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