City announces new garbage collection system

April 11, 2013 11:16:37 AM PDT
The City of Chicago says a shift to a new grid garbage collection system will save more than $18 million a year.

The new system will allow the Department of Streets and Sanitation to reduce its garbage truck deployment from nearly 360 trucks to less than 320 trucks each day, while using fewer crews and fuel, according to officials.

In addition to being cost-effective, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the new method of collecting garbage is more efficient than the old system, which was based on wards.

"Adopting the grid garbage collection system allows us to replace an outdated method that started when garbage was still collected by horse and buggy and divert personnel resources to support the citywide expansion of recycling," Emanuel said in a press release issued by the city.

The city plans to roll out the final phase of the system to approximately 90,000 households on Chicago's far south and southwest sides beginning April 15, 2013.

As a result of the savings, the city says it can redirect resources to support other services like the expansion of blue cart recycling.

According to the press release, the grid system, widely used by municipalities and private garbage companies, changes collection routes from non-linear ward geography to a system of routes bordered by main streets and natural boundaries.

For more information, visit the Department of Streets and Sanitation website at