Despite Inspector General Joe Ferguson’s accusations that the city
won’t cooperate with an audit of the new grid garbage collection system,
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would support the inspection, but not until
the program is fully implemented.
ward-based trash pickup to a grid map will allegedly save the city $18
million every year, according to the mayor’s office. Emanuel announced
in April the transition to a new garbage system is in its final phase.
But Monday, Ferguson issued a report saying the Emanuel administration has blocked his attempts to verify the cost savings, demonstrating a lack of transparency.
Ferguson said in a statement that Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams “refused to
cooperate” with an audit and “walked out of a meeting when IGO auditors
pressed him for information regarding his plans to monitor operations.”
an unrelated press conference Tuesday, Emanuel was confident his
grid-based trash collection initiative would save the city millions and welcomed the audit following the transition's completion.
know those savings are going to be used for recycling, so we don't have
to levy a tax," the mayor told reporters. "More importantly, we didn't
want to study it while we were implementing it, but get it implemented
and then we want it studied so we can actually show the full savings."
savings of $18 million pale in comparison to the first term mayor’s
promises on the campaign trail. At that time, Emanuel claimed he could save the city of
Chicago $60 million by revising the trash collection system.
Meanwhile, Emanuel announced
late last month that Ferguson must reapply for his job when his term
ends in November. The mayor attributed the decision to a recommendation
from his Ethics Reform Commission. Ferguson, who makes an annual salary
of $161,856, has held his position as IG for four years.