Chicago will expand its recycling program citywide beginning in March, adding 131,000 households.

The city said in a news release that its blue-cart biweekly recycling collection program should complete its expansion to include 340,000 households by the fall.

The recycling program in each of the six city service areas will gradually expand the number of households receiving new recycling service. Chicago’s recycling service providers include the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, Sims Municipal Recycling, with contracts in Chicago and New York City, and Houston-based Waste Management Inc.

 “Chicago will no longer be a tale of two cities when it comes to recycling,” said Chicago Mayor Rahim Emanuel.  “Adopting new strategies will allow us to expand blue cart recycling to every community in 2013, and residents will soon have greater access to recycling services, which will make Chicago a greener, more environmentally friendly city.”

The city also is launching a public outreach campaign to increase participation in the recycling program.

In October 2011, Emanuel implemented a managed competition for recycling services in an effort to create efficiencies and reduce costs. In one year, the competition decreased recycling costs by $4.7 million. The city projects an annual investment of $19.2 million for citywide recycling operations, compared with $31.1 million without adopting managed competition.