New Grid-Based Garbage Pickup System Rolls Out In 7 Wards

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some North Side residents might have a new garbage day starting Monday.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports, the Department of Streets and Sanitation will be posting notices on city-serviced garbage cans in neighborhoods from Lakeview north through Rogers Park.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports

The notices will announce that the grid-based garbage collection system will begin in one week – on Monday, June 11 – supplanting a ward-based system which with Mayor Rahm Emanuel did away as part of his 2012 budget.

The notices will alert some 55,000 households of their new garbage collection dates, as part of the new grid-based system. The city says the revamped system is expected to be more efficient, and save taxpayers $20 million.

The affected wards are the 40th (Arcadia Terrace, Bowmanville, parts of Edgewater and Rogers Park); 44th (most of Lakeview and East Lakeview), 46th (Uptown, parts of East Lakeview), 47th (Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Northcenter), 48th (Edgewater, Andersonville, parts of Uptown), 49th (Rogers Park and parts of Edgewater), and 50th (West Rogers Park and parts of Pulaski Park/Lincoln Village.)

Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Thomas Byrne emphasizes in a news release that the quality of service will remain the same.

“Everyone should anticipate receiving the same high quality, weekly collection services they have come to expect from the City of Chicago with a significant savings to taxpayers. Some residents may experience a change in their refuse collection day, but that will be the only change,” Byrne said in the release.

The notices will also tell residents who receive curbside blue cart service that their recycling day will also change to the same day as their garbage pickup.

Later in the summer, the city will add the 30th, 33rd, 35th, 38th, 39th, 41st and 45th wards on the Northwest Side to the grid-based pickup system

The city says the grid system is widely used both by other municipal governments and private waste haulers. Under the new system for Chicago, garbage pickup will be based on routes bordered by main streets and natural boundaries, rather than the non-linear boundaries of aldermanic wards.

In announcing his budget last fall, Emanuel said the ward-based system was woefully outdated.

“No person designing a garbage collection system from scratch would base it on a political map. We’ve always done it that way because we could afford to. Fed Ex and UPS don’t do it that way,” he said. “But we can no longer afford to.”

The city estimates up to 20 percent fewer crews will be used in the first phase, while providing the same services. By working in a grid, the city expects to reduce fuel and vehicle maintenance expenses.

VIEW: The new grid collection system

For more information on the grid-based system, including a schedule for the seven affected wards, click here.

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