Grid-Based Garbage Collection Begins In North Side Wards

CHICAGO (CBS) — Trash in a number of Chicago neighborhoods will be collected differently starting Monday, but the city hopes no one notices a difference.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Julie Mann reports, each Chicago ward has directed its own trash pickup for generations. But beginning Monday in seven North Side wards, that is no longer the case.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Julie Mann reports

This is the first day trash in those wards is being collected according to a grid 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); 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.) The 44th Ward (most of Lakeview and East Lakeview) is also affected, but only north of Addison Street.

As a consequence of the transition to the grid system, garbage pickup days have changed for many neighborhoods. For example, 44th Ward residents north of Addison Street and west of Clark Street will now have their garbage picked up on Thursday, and east of Clark Street on Friday.

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In announcing his budget last fall, Emanuel said the ward-based system was woefully outdated.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