City of Chicago Announces Second Phase of Grid Garbage Collection

July 6, 2012

New system to roll out to more than 72,000 households on Chicago’s northwest side beginning July 30

Today, the City of Chicago announces plans to roll out grid garbage collection to more than 72,000 northwest side households beginning July 30, 2012.  This  roll out, which is the second phase in the citywide roll out, will take place in wards 33, 38, 39, 41 and 45, as well as small portions of wards 30, 35,  and 40.

“I am committed to providing residents with high quality services that are both efficient and cost effective,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “By implementing the grid garbage system we can save money without impacting the quality of service. We are choosing efficiency over politics, and the taxpayers will benefit.”

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 use fewer crews to provide the same weekly refuse services to Chicago residents while saving millions in operation costs. Additionally, by working in a grid, it is expected that the City will significantly reduce the expense associated with fuel, vehicle purchase and vehicle maintenance.

The grid routes were developed by the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation with the help of outside consultants. Once developed, the routes were thoroughly vetted through the ward superintendents who provided valuable neighborhood expertise and feedback to make the routes as efficient as possible.

The City will continue to engage in a targeted public outreach campaign, in conjunction with the aldermanic offices and community groups, to educate residents about the grid garbage collection system and potential garbage collection day of service changes related to the roll out.  Outreach will include intensive media relations, direct-to-consumer outreach and social media engagement.

“My office is fully prepared to work with residents and officials from Streets and Sanitation to ensure a smooth transition to the grid-based system of garbage collection, a more efficient model that will ultimately end up saving taxpayers millions in operational costs,” said Alderman Mary O’Connor, 41st Ward.  “Just as with any new initiative, I expect there will need to be some fine-tuning as the system rolls out, but I am confident the City will continue to provide the same levels of service residents have come to expect.”

Last month, Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation rolled out the first phase of the grid garbage collection system on Chicago’s north side to approximately 55,000 households.

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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