Grid-Based Garbage Collection = Aldermanic Headaches

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 10, 2012 9:30PM

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Photo Credit: Joseph Dennis
The Tribune reports today on the growing pains being experienced as Mayor Rahm Emanuel expands grid-based garbage collection across the city that’s worth a read. Many aldermen were reluctant to switch to a grid-based system because garbage collection was one of those trump cards they could use as proof they were looking out for the best interests of their wards’ respective constituencies.

The gradual switch to a grid-based system and the "managed competition" between private contractors and the Department of Streets and Sanitation has saved the city money; Emanuel expects the switch to save taxpayers $20 million this year. The program rolled out in some North side neighborhoods in June and expanded to the Northwest side last month, which is where things get complicated.

Tribune reporter John Byrne writes about the growing mounds of trash that collected on the 4500 block of North Kostner in Mayfair after residents did as Streets and San asked them and rolled their bins to the curb. After two weeks of steadily piling garbage baking in the summer sun, 45th Ward Ald. John Arena’s office took care of the situation with a couple of phone calls. It’s the Chicago Way.

Byrne noted that another thing compounding matters is the new ward map that goes into effect in 2015. When the new map goes into effect that block of Kostner becomes part of Marge Laurino’s 39th Ward. Some aldermen have already stepped in on behalf of voters who they’ll need to retain their seats after the map goes into effect.

Here’s hoping Streets and San figure out the grid system before then.