115,000 more homes added to the city's garbage grid system

Some confused residents on the North, West and Southwest Sides about garbage pick-up

November 12, 2012

Judith Ruiz-Branch

About 115,000 additional homes on the North, West and Southwest Sides joined the city’s new garbage grid system today. The new program allows a smaller group of garbage pick-up crews to serve more areas without having to worry about ward boundaries. The city said residents will receive the same service as before, but with an additional $20 million in savings.

“Those crews will either be reassigned to other service areas like rodent control, or graffiti or forestry,” said Anne Sheahan, Director of Public Affairs for the Department of Streets and Sanitation. “People won’t be laid off necessarily, but if their position is vacated, it may not be filled.”

Sheahan said today’s phase four switchover went well for all affecting areas.

But Alderman Nick Sposato said the transition had a few bumps in his 36th ward. Alderman Sposato said the Veteran Day Holiday just added to the confusion.  

“I mean I know it was a mess today, today’s the first day,” Sposato said.  “I was in the office although we’re closed today, I got a bunch of phone calls about missed garbage pickup, mostly curbside, that people thought it was a holiday and that they (garbage) didn’t get picked up.”

Alderman Proco“Joe” Moreno said his 1st ward has been on the new grid system since September and it’s been a win for the 1st ward so far. Moreno said he has his staff to thank for that.

“If every alderman and their ward superintendent are dedicated to understanding the system and are dedicated to working that system, then I think we’re going to have a tremendous amount of success,” Moreno said.

Alderman Moreno said the old ward grid system was completely inefficient to the city.  

“The only reason to continue to have it by wards is for individual alderman that are concerned about keeping power, their own power” Moreno said. “I’m not as much concerned about that if we can save taxpayers what we’re projecting of seven, eight millions of dollars, then we need to be on the system and people need to be dedicated to it.”

The city started the new garbage grid system in June and they hope to have all of Chicago switched over by Spring.