City Of Chicago To Roll Out Grid Garbage Collection System to 56,000 Southwest Side Residents Beginning Monday

December 10, 2012

New System streamlines operations, maximizes resources

Beginning Monday, December 10, 2012, the City of Chicago will roll out the fifth phase of the grid garbage collection system to approximately 56,000 households on Chicago’s southwest side in wards 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, and 23.


“I am committed to providing residents with high quality services that are both efficient and cost effective,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “The grid system allows us to provide the same great refuse collection services to residents while making smarter use of our resources.”


The grid system, widely used by municipalities and private refuse haulers, changes collection routes from non-linear ward geography to a system of routes bordered by main streets and natural boundaries. The service model concentrates sanitation workers in targeted areas of the city each day and creates balanced service regions to improve daily collection performance.


By utilizing more efficient routes, the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation can provide the same weekly refuse services to Chicago residents while saving millions in operation costs by using fewer resources, such as crews, vehicles and fuel.


The grid refuse routes were developed by the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation with the assistance of outside consultants.  In order to make the routes as efficient as possible, the grids were thoroughly vetted by the ward superintendents who provided valuable feedback about their service area.


“Rather than collecting refuse based on winding ward boundaries, these garbage crews will now follow a much more linear and efficient course,” said Alderman Edward Burke, 14th Ward. “For all households, it will involve a seamless and minor adjustment.”


Last week, Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation crews posted “Change in Garbage Service Day” notices to garbage carts within the boundaries to inform residents of their new day of service effective December 10, 2012.


The notices also informed residents who receive curbside blue cart recycling services that their recycling day of service will also change to the same day as their garbage pickup. Residents who receive alley blue cart recycling services will maintain their same week of service, though their day of collection may change.  Residents with alley blue cart services should leave their carts in the alley for their entire collection week to ensure service.


Once the fifth phase of the roll out is complete, nearly 360,000 households will receive refuse collection services on the grid system.


Residents who would like more information about the grid garbage collection system and related service changes are encouraged to visit the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation website at, call 311 or contact their local ward office.


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