Marilyn Katz's picture
Marilyn Katz

Chicago Garbage wars likely with Ald. Moreno's 'pay-as-you-throw' fee

Chicago has a long history of wars. The bootlegger wars of the 1920s, the Council Wars of the 1980s and the annual winter parking spot wars, to name a few.

Now, thanks to Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno, 1st, we may have a chance at another — garbage wars. Moreno has proposed that Chicago's new monthly garbage fee of $9.50 per household for single family residence be replaced with a "pay-as-you-throw" fee. Under his proposal the more garbage a household creates, the more it would pay.

Clearly there are technical difficulties with the idea. Would Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation crews come around with portable scales to weigh each receptacle and record it? Or would they make visual judgments, perhaps photographing fullness or emptiness of each bin? Sure, the equipment might be expensive and the time spent weighing trash would lead to unaffordable overtime pay, but Moreno believes that system would be more just.

But then there's the question of whose garbage is it?


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