On Old Town street, residents face ‘perfect storm of street litter’

CHICAGO — A perfect storm of street litter.

That's how one Chicago alderman is describing a stretch of street near the Sedgwick 'L' stop that accumulates trash faster than it can be removed.

"Well, you have the perfect storm of street litter conditions right here on the 1400 block of North Sedgwick," Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said. "You've got an 'L' stop. You've got convenience stores. You've got [a] lack of alley access for some businesses, so they have to have their trash cans on the sidewalk. And you have a lot of pedestrian traffic, and unfortunately, some of those pedestrians don't care if they litter or not. They throw their garbage on the ground."

To battle the garbage accumulation, the city has stepped up trash removal near the 'L' stop — with garbage trucks removing rubbish at least three times a week.

Some residents say that's not enough.

One man spent $50 on extra trash bins for the sidewalk. Others expressed frustration that the area is on the border of two wards: the 2nd and 27th. Along part of Sedgwick, Hopkins and Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) are each responsible for a different side of the street.

"I don't think it should be: This is his problem, and this is my problem," resident Kit Graham said. "It's the residents' problem. Get out here and fix it."