On a trial basis, the City is testing whether free trash pick-up once a week makes more sense than free trash pick-up twice a week. The test is citywide, and touches every ward.
We are not finished with the experiment and have not drawn any final conclusions, but we have already learned some lessons by listening to our employees, residents, and aldermen.
We have learned that almost all of the time, almost all of the dumpsters have excess capacity even when the trash is picked up once a week. We have also learned that picking up the trash once a week (which is the norm in most places in the region and the country) rather than twice will save money, will reduce the amount of energy we consume, reduce the amount of dirty exhaust we produce, and, if we are vigilant, will reduce the amount of trash that goes into landfills.
If we do this, the Refuse Division is going to have to put out larger dumpsters in some neighborhoods and put out additional recycling bins. Residents are going to have compact more of their trash, especially cardboard boxes, and we are going to have to place trash in an adjacent dumpster if the one nearest our home is full. We are all going to have to think twice before we just throw stuff away.
City government faces a budget shortfall because of rising pension costs and revenues reduced by the global recession. It is my goal to give the highest priority to the most vitally needed city services, like crime fighting.