Saturday, February 12, 2011

Big Changes Planned for Garbage Collection

Chicago News Coop:
Less than two weeks before the election to succeed Daley, a spokesman for the administration told the Chicago News Cooperative on Friday that officials would begin implementing a new, grid-based waste pick-up system that would supplant the entrenched ward-by-ward approach in at least part of the city.

The move comes just months after the city’s inspector general — in a report that many aldermen panned — said the city could save more than $64 million in the first two years with the sort of grid system that virtually every other major U.S. city employs.

Streets and Sanitation spokesman Matt Smith said Friday that the decision followed a pilot grid-based collection program in an unspecified part of the city last year. The city already collects recyclables on a grid-based routes.

“Based on those efforts, we are planning to expand grid-based garbage collection to more areas this spring,” Smith said in an e-mail. “We believe expanding this effort to the whole city becomes even more important as ward boundaries are set to change later in the year, and re-configuring routes based on a grid instead of new ward boundaries just makes sense.”

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