With all the complaints, gripes, moans and groans swirling around the blogosphere about public service agencies, it's nice to be able to report some GOOD NEWS for a change!
I live in a 30+ unit rental building in the north of Howard community in Rogers Park. Our garbage is collected by Flood Brothers Disposal/Recycling Services, a private company. In Chicago, buildings with more than four units rely on private trash collection companies. The city takes care of everybody else.
Well, there's been a pile of furniture leaning against my building in the alley for more than a month. Honestly, I'd gotten so used to it I didn't even notice it anymore. One of my neighbors asked me how we could go about getting it removed. Call 311? he asked. Sounded good to me.
As a big believer in the squeaky wheel theory of getting things done, I figured the more calls 311 got about the gross, abandoned furniture, the quicker we'd get rid of it. So, I called 311 the next day and was referred to my ward's sanitation office. When I called that number a real live person picked up on the second ring. He asked me a few questions about how many pieces of furniture, how big, how many units in building, where located, how long it had been sitting there, etc. And that was it.
My good deed done for the day, I got to work on whatever I was working on and didn't give it another thought.
Later that same day, I took a couple of garbage bags out the back door and down to the Dumpster in the alley. Lo and behold, the moldy, nasty furniture was gone! One phone call, a 3-minute conversation with a pleasant-sounding person and it was taken care of—on the very same day!
Other than getting my dog's city license sticker in the mail 2 days after applying for it online I don't think I have EVER had a city department take care of something as quickly as Streets and Sanitation did that day. My cynical side figures it must have been a slow day for them, but, really, it doesn't matter. Results are results. As the person I spoke with on the phone told me, it wasn't even their responsibility to take care of that kind of refuse. It probably would have taken another month to go through the proper channels with my property management company.
So, kudos to Greg Wagner, 49th Ward superintendent of Streets and Sanitation. This citizen appreciates your responsiveness and quick service.
For More Information
49th Ward Sanitation Office
Superintendent, Greg Wagner
6441 N. Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60626
Hours: 7 am-2:30 pm, M-F