No garbage pickup for some Washington Heights residents for 2 weeks after snow

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Residents in part of Chicago's Washington Heights neighborhood said they had no garbage pickup for about two weeks following snowfall.

Residents in the 9500-block of South Lowe and Union avenues were worried they'd soon be buried under bags of trash.


"I have garbage, a lot of garbage, because I have kids and grandkids," said one neighbor. "I have garbage stored in my garage because the bins are still full."

Another homeowner had to resort to piling up her trash inside her home.

"I got my garbage in the hallway because there is not space to put in the cans," she said.

In an email response, a spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation noted that crews continue daily work to collect trash and recycling, and added, "Garbage collection remains delayed across the city due to the heavy snowfall experienced over the last week....Residents are advised to treat response times as they would during a holiday week and keep their carts out and ready for pick up."

21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins, Jr. said he doesn't know how the garbage pickup on those streets got missed, but quickly requested crews come and take the trash away. And Thursday afternoon, they did.

"I just feel for these workers who are asked to do a yeoman's job in a bad situation with piled up snow," Brookins said.


Alleys typically aren't plowed by the city because snow would block access to garages, meaning trash can start piling up if garbage trucks can't navigate the snowy alleys.

And when the trash piles up, rat problems can start according to the owner of RB Pest Solutions. The company has been working around the clock since the pandemic began, and now their business is picking up following the snow and thaw.

"So, we're been getting many calls about sealing up those entry points, putting down traps because the snow is hiding them," said Robiar Smith, owner.

But for residents in Washington Heights, the sight of garbage trucks was a welcome sight after such a long wait.

"Right now as long as the trucks come through here and get the peoples garbage up, I'm happy with it," said Anthony Davis, resident.
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