The City of Chicago's Official Site

Frequently Asked Questions


Why do I need a Commercial Refuse Container (CRC) Permit?

Who needs to apply for a CRC Permit?

What is the period a permit is good for?

What are the permit fees?

What do I do if my containers change between the permit periods?

How do I obtain a permit?

How do I pay for this permit?

If a permit is not obtained or invalid, what penalties can be expected?

What browser version is CRC Internet Permit application designed for?


Why do I need a Commercial Refuse Container (CRC) Permit?

The Chicago City Council passed ordinance 4-260-150 on November 19, 2008 giving the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) the authority for permitting commercial refuse containers (CRC) on both private and public property. This ordinance was amended and renamed 7-28-215 on May 9, 2012.

This ordinance was developed to address a number of issues:

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Who needs to apply for a CRC Permit?

The company that provides refuse collection services for a refuse container is responsible for obtaining the CRC permit.

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What is the period a permit is good for?

These permits shall be valid for a four (4) month period beginning on April 1, August 1 and December 1 of each year.

The provider must submit locations of all their containers in a format prescribed by CDOT.

The schedule for the submittal of the locations and payments are as follows:

Period April to July August to November December to March
Locations due from providers Once every month within the permit cycle (need to enter between the 1st and 10th)* Once every month within the permit cycle (need to enter between the 1st and 10th)* Once every month within the permit cycle (need to enter between the 1st and 10th)*
Payment due July 15th** November 15th** March 15th**

* You are required to inform CDOT of any locations changes or container additions before deploying in order to avoid receiving a citation for a non permitted container.

** The invoice will only be available to print after final container numbers are entered for the last month of the permit cycle (July, November and March)

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What are the permit fees?

Refuse containers have been broken into five (5) categories based on size or it used solely for recyclable materials. The fees for each of the categories are as follows:

Size of the Container Container Category Tri-Annual Permit Fee

Grease receptacles are considered to be a recyclable container and are free under this ordinance. If a compactor is used only for recyclable material their will be no charge, otherwise, a permit fee will be charged based on the size of the container.

Additionally, there are no charges if the container is being used by a unit of local government or school district that levies a property tax exclusively within the City of Chicago. Please do not include these containers when entering the number of containers you are deploying within the city limits. You will still have to notify CDOT of the locations of these containers.

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What do I do if my containers change between the permit periods?

It is the responsibility of the Hauler to provide changes in the locations of their containers before any new container is deployed within the City limits. Failure to do so may result in a citation.

Initially, the revised listing of locations will need to be saved as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (using one of the following file extensions - “csv”, “xls” or “xlsx”) will have to be emailed to the City at dumpster.dumpster@cityofchicago.org.

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How do I obtain a permit?

The first step is for your refuse collection company to obtain a City of Chicago regulated business license for private scavenger activities as defined in the City of Chicago Municipal Code 4-6-130.

To apply for the regulated business license for private scavenger activities as well as address any licensing questions, please contact Betsy Gonzalez of the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (DBA&CP), Business Assistance Center directly at #312-744-5357. The DBA&CP is located at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street – room #800.

Once the provider receives their regulated business license for private scavenger activities, CDOT will provide all of the necessary information in order for the provider to access the City of Chicago Refuse Container Permit web site. From this web site, the provider will be able to generate an invoice for payment.

If no valid regulated business license for private scavenger activities is found for your account, you will receive a message informing you of the same and providing you contact information at DBA&CP for related information.

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How do I pay for this permit?

Payments will need to be made online. You may click on the "Make Payment" button/ link provided for the relevant charge within the Commercial Refuse Container Permitting System to enter the payment details and make the payment online.

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If a permit is not obtained or invalid, what penalties can be expected?

Enforcement of CRC permits will be done by the the Department of Streets and Sanitation, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, and the Department of Finance staff.

Fine of not less than $250.00 nor more than $1,500.00 for each offense may be levied. Each day that a violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense. In addition, any refuse container not validly permitted may be removed by the city, and all costs associated with such removal shall be borne by the provider of the refuse container. The owner of a refuse container, if different from the refuse collection provider, shall be jointly liable with the refuse collection provider for any violation.

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What browser version is CRC Internet Permit application designed for?

The CRC Internet Permit application is designed to be used with Microsoft Internet Explorer™ version 8. We recommend using the latest browser version. You will need to ensure that the browser is capable of running Java script.

To obtain version 8 of Microsoft Internet Explorer™ download a copy from the Microsoft web site using your current browser. Also, make sure you are downloading a full copy and not a demo copy.

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