Fall Recycling Day

Location: Brookfield Zoo North Parking Lot

Date: Saturday, September 30, 2023, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

If you've been storing items in your basement and garage, waiting for the perfect time and most Earth-friendly way to dispose of them, you can recycle them at Brookfield Zoo! On Saturday, September 30, between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., the zoo will be collecting electronics, textiles, and used books (please review the list of acceptable and unacceptable items below).

To access the recycling event please enter through the gated entrance directly off of 31st street, (around the corner from the main north lot entrance). Do not enter through the main North Gate parking lot to enter the recycling event. See map for exact location.

  • PFP-31st-street-entrance.jpg
  • The process is easy. Drive into the designated recycling area and representatives from the zoo and its partnering organizations will collect your items for recycling. Please note: the zoo can become busy during warm spring days. Coming before zoo hours or planning to arrive early to the zoo to recycle items is highly recommended. 

    There is no charge to drop off recycling; however, tickets or membership is required if you plan to visit the zoo.

Saturday, September 30, 2023, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

See the full list below of items that are acceptable as well as items that will not be accepted. 

Additional questions?  Contact us at marketingteam@czs.org.


Batteries must be removed from items

Acceptable Items
• Computers
• Laptops
• Servers Holiday String Lights
• Wire, Cable, Adapters
• Power Supplies
• Cell Phones
• Modems
• Tablets
• Phones
• Docking Station
• Cable Boxes
• Video Game Consoles
• Microwaves
• Small Metal Appliance (Toaster, Crock Pot, etc.)
• Metal Fans
• iPods/MP3 Players
• iPads/Tablets
• Handheld Gaming Systems
• Chargers
• Converter Boxes
• Satellite Receivers
• Printers
• Scanners
• VCR, DVD Player
• Keyboards, Mice
• Radios
• Plastic Appliances
• Plastic Fans
• Flat Screen Monitor

Unacceptable Items
• All TVs
• Wooden Speakers
• Smoke Detectors
• Lightbulbs
• Refrigerators
• Dehumidifiers
• AC Units
• Vacuum Cleaners
• Power Tools
• Bags & Plastic Containers
• Batteries


Acceptable Items
• Blouses
• Pants
• Swimsuits
• Sweaters
• Socks
• Coats
• Shirts
• Undergarments
• Dresses
• Tuxedos
• Children's Clothing
• Paired Shoes and Boots
• Ties
• Hats
• Gloves
• Scarves
• Purses
• Totebags
• Backpacks
• Belts
• Plush Toys/Stuffed Animals
• Bedding (Sheets, Comforters, Pillowcases)
• Quilts
• Curtains
• Towels
• Drapes

Unacceptable Items
• Pillows
• Rugs
• Sleeping Bags
• Carpet
• Foam Mats
• Mattresses
• Cushions
• Vinyl Shower Curtains
• Ice/Roller Skates
• Single Shoes
• Extremely Damaged or Broken Shoes
• Plastic and Wooden Toys
• Dolls
• Luggage
• Wet or Smelly Items
• Kitchen Supplies
• Furniture/Foam Furniture
• Office Supplies
• Tools
• Household Items/Appliances
• Paper
• Games
• Strollers
• Metal/Glass/Plastic Items
• Dishes
• Lamps
• Blinds
• Wrapping Paper
• Puzzles
• Car Seats
• Fabric Scraps

BOOKS (Discover Books)


Acceptable Items
• Fiction
• Nonfiction
• Craft books
• Cookbooks
• Children's books
• Textbooks
• Graphic Novels

Unacceptable items

• Instructions copy, examination copy, annotated instructor editions, or any book that has any of the following text: review copy, sample copy, exam copy, or not for resale
• Water damaged (or any liquid staining)
• Missing pages
• Torn spines
• Writing that obscures the text: highlighting, underlining, or notes in the margins
• Workbooks that have any writing
• Books with a foul or strong odor
• Books missing their accessories



What's Happening?

New Penguin Encounters!

Join us for a unique close encounter with Humboldt penguins at Brookfield Zoo.


Free Admission for Military Personnel

To show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the men and women in the United States Armed Forces, the Chicago Zoological Society is offering free admission to Brookfield Zoo to all active, reservist, and retired members of the military. Qualified personnel who present a valid ID will be admitted free of charge.