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Trash Pickup Service

Have you ever experienced the sinking feeling of watching the weekly garbage truck drive away up the street without your trash? You’ve hurried to the curb, dragging your overfull 96-gallon supercart behind you, and missed the truck by this much.

An average suburban family can pile up quite a lot of garbage in the space of a week, and missing the pick-up can leave you with a cart full of stinky trash with no room for the next week’s trash collection.

Chicago’s municipal garbage trucks pick up an estimated 1.1 million tons of residential garbage and recyclables annually. They visit 600,000 single-family homes and apartment buildings of four units or less once each week, from Monday through Friday.

The city isn’t equipped to come back and collect missed trash, and they certainly don’t have any rush options for picking up trash, so where does that leave you if you either missed the pick-up or have more trash than the cart can handle?

In the hands of private junk removal companies.

It’s Not Necessarily You (and it’s Never Just You)

While most of us are familiar with missing our weekly trash pick up by this much, there are other reasons why your trash might not have been picked up.

1. Each of the eight districts in Chicago is assigned a particular weekday for garbage collection. If you’ve missed a garbage pick-up because you forgot which day of the week your pick-up is scheduled for, you can enter your address to learn which day of the week is your day.

2. Your supercart couldn’t be picked up. Chicago city’s garbage trucks are equipped with hydraulics to lift and empty these carts automatically, but they need to be placed so that the truck’s arms can do their job.

If your cart was out on time but not emptied (especially if the neighbors were), it may be because the truck couldn’t get clear access:

  • Your supercart was blocked in by another vehicle, a basketball hoop, or something else.
  • It snowed, and piles of unshovelled snow made access impossible.
  • The supercart’s handle was facing the wrong way.
  • There wasn’t the necessary space (2-3 feet) between your garbage and recycling carts.
  • The cart’s lid wasn’t closed, so the garbage would be likely to spill out on its way up and over into the truck.
  • Your cart was way too heavy because you filled it with bricks, drywall, or other non-residential garbage material.

3. Your garbage crew is also human. With the best will in the world, your garbage pick-up may be missed due to a mistake on the part of the sanitation workers.

Garbage Truck Picking Up Trash

If your supercart was out on time, access was free and clear, the handle was facing the right way, you didn’t overload the cart, and the crew simply missed your garbage, you can call 311 or submit a Missed Garbage Pick-Up Request.

Or, if you arrive home and your garbage can has mysteriously disappeared along with the trash pick-up, you can let the city Streets and Sanitation department know you need a replacement.

4. Every year, the City of Chicago lets our sanitation workers enjoy some of the same state and federal holidays as other government workers. And if your trash pick-up day coincides with one of these holidays, you may be forced to wait an extra week before your next pick-up.

Regular garbage pick-up holidays for 2023 include:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Monday, January 16
  • Pulaski Day Monday, March 6
  • Memorial Day Monday, May 29
  • Juneteenth Day Monday, June 19
  • Independence Day Tuesday, July 4
  • Labor Day Monday, September 4
  • Columbus Day Monday, October 9
  • Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 23
  • Christmas Day Monday, December 25

Seven of the nine holidays in 2023 fall on a Monday, so for those of you whose regularly scheduled garbage pick-up includes the first day of the week, you’ll miss a pick-up in the months of January, March, May, June, September, October, and December.

Back to How to Get Same-Day Trash Pick-up in Chicago

No matter what the reason, there may be times when you need to have the trash picked up, and you need it right now. The bottom line is you can have some types of trash picked up the same day if you’re willing to pay for the service.

Trash Pickup Crew

We’ve compiled a helpful list of what you need to know to help you move the process along.

What Junk Removal Companies Do (and Don’t) Pick Up

Not all junk removal companies are created equal, and each has its own criteria for what it will and won’t pick up.

Large Garbage Bin

We’d like to put our name forward if you need a rush pick-up for your junk. At Junk Relief, we’ve been helping Chicagoans deal with their garbage for 18 years. What we don’t know about clearing and properly disposing of or recycling building materials, furniture, and all other junk isn’t worth knowing!

Here’s a list of what we do pick up:

Indoor Junk Removal

Removing a Couch

Our indoor junk removal services include:

Outdoor Junk Removal

Piles of Tires

Our outdoor junk removal services include:

Commercial Waste Removal

Packing Up an Office

Our commercial waste removal services include:

Construction Debris Removal

A Pile of Wood Debris

Our construction debris removal services include:

Electronic Waste Removal

Electronic Waste Pile

Our electronic waste removal services include:

Large Removal Projects

Warehouse Clean Out

Our large removal projects services include:

What We Don’t Pick Up

A Bag of Trash

Here’s the short list of what we don’t pick up:

  • Open paint cans
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Ammunition
  • Fireworks
  • Asbestos
  • Pressurized containers
  • Medical waste

Ask for a Quote

We’ll give you a quote before we come to your property. That lets you get the service you need within 24 hours. The best way to make sure we’ll all be on the same page is through the camera app on any cell phone.

By taking comprehensive pictures of the junk you need to have removed from your home or property, we’ll be able to give you an accurate and fair no-obligation quote depending on the size of the job.

At JunkRelief, we’ve implemented three ways for you to contact us. We call them, Fast, Faster, and Fastest.

  • FastBook online or text photos to 312-800-1940. Once we receive your email or text, a Junk Expert will call you in a few minutes with a quote and arrange for a time we can stop by to pick up the trash and junk within the next 24 hours.
  • Faster – Live Chat with one of our team in close to real-time. Look for the Chat icon at the bottom right corner and let your fingers talk with a real human Junk Expert. No chatbots in our office!
  • Fastest – Call us at 312-800-1940 to talk with a Junk Expert who can answer all your questions right then and there.

We’ll stick to the number we say on the phone and guarantee that the costs will never be more than our given estimate (as long as it’s the same items as your booking.)

Calculating Service Cost

We’re flexible enough to make last-minute adjustments as necessary and will discuss price changes with you before our crew starts to work. We always talk about prices beforehand, so there are no surprises, hidden fees, or extra charges.

We charge by total volume, and all labor, hauling, and heavy lifting are included in every project. What matters more than weight is how much space your junk or trash takes up.

After you receive a quote and verify the company can come out the same day, approve it quickly as well to ensure they can book you the same day. Last-minute quotes or job requirements could extend the quote process or job length.

If you have a large project and the quote is over $1,000, we’ll send you our volume pricing before we arrive and discuss our pricing with you. This way, we’re fixing your problem together, not causing you another headache. We believe in full transparency with our pick-ups and want you to be in the know too.

Get Ready

As part of our “get you ready” campaign, we’ll advise you on what to expect when one of our JunkRelief teams shows up at your home and property. We try to think ahead and let you know of any issues we might run into and how we’ll solve them.

We know all the potential pitfalls of various removal scenarios and think them through, so you don’t have to worry. We will remind you to schedule elevators or gather insurance requirements.

Garbageman Collecting Garbage

Here are some helpful tips for you to get ready for a painless and seamless removal day:

  • Clearly labeling items can be a helpful way to ensure that the crew takes everything you want to be removed but nothing that you don’t. Depending on which pile is bigger — Take or Don’t Take, you can stick a piece of green painter’s tape on your stuff and label the tape. Or invest in two rolls of tape — one green and one pink and color code the things you need to be removed and the things to stay.
  • Children, pets, and junk removal don’t always make for the best combination. Especially when there are heavy items the guys can’t see around as they make their way to the truck. Junk removal day might be an ideal time for both your two-legged and four-legged children to have a play date with some of their friends.
  • Our trucks need a lot of room to get as close as possible to your front door or yard. Make sure your driveway is free from cars, and the walkways to your house or office are clear of bikes and other items that might trip up our guys and get in the way of easy access.

If You Can’t Get Same-Day Pick-Up

There may be a time when it’s simply not possible for you to arrange same-day pick-up for your trash and junk. It happens.

If you can’t get the service you need as quickly as you’d like, you may have to wait a bit until Christmas is over, a company’s backlog is dealt with, or the snowstorm that’s paralyzed the city has released its grip.

By the way, The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that much of the country will see snow during Christmas week this year. The long-range forecast for Chicago calls for “snow showers in the days leading up to Christmas, with temperatures trending colder.”

So, if you do need to wait for your trash to get picked up, you may want to cover junk that’s outside with a tarp to make sure any snow or wet weather doesn’t soak through and make it impossibly heavy.

When it comes to the junk removal day, our commitment is that you don’t lift a finger other than to point to your junk removal items. We do the rest.

We’ll be in and out fast and will take extra care not to bump or damage your walls, floors, and other furniture. Our guys will even help you decide which new couch you want if you need a second opinion. Their opinion may not be worth much, but they’re all eager to please.

Trash Pickup Team

By the time we’re done, all your junk and debris will be removed, and the floors or ground will be swept up and cleaned. The team lead can also process your payment –— but only when you are completely satisfied with the completed job.

You can pay with cash, check, or credit card via the tablet or get an invoice emailed for contactless payments.

With 6.5K pick-ups every year, our team is in and out fast and takes extra care not to damage any walls, floors, and other furniture. We even sweep up after ourselves as soon as you are completely satisfied.

James Petrie, one of 1.7K 5-star reviewers, had this to say about her recent pick-up by Junk Relief:

“JunkRelief is fast, on time, and efficient. 24 hours from initial contact to disassembly/removal of a medium grand piano and removal of an oversized sofa bed from my apartment by a knowledgeable 2-person crew. Prices are competitive. Five stars.”


Joe Weidman

Joe is a Chicago native, born and raised in Elmhurst. He founded Junk Relief more than 10 years ago and has worked with more than 20,000 homeowners and businesses throughout Chicagoland. His passion for starting a business in junk removal stemmed from seeing the need to do things differently. He prides himself on his company's model to provide unexpectedly professional service.


If you’ve got junk in Chicago or the Chicagoland Suburbs, we can help. CALL US or TEXT US at (312) 800-1940.


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