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Audit of Chicago garbage collection system held up

CHICAGO — Chicago's inspector general says he can't verify the city will save $18 million a year by changing how garbage is collected because the sanitation department won't cooperate with his investigation.

Inspector General Joe Ferguson issued a report Monday saying the Department of Streets and Sanitation refused to cooperate with an audit. He adds department Commissioner Charles Williams abruptly left an audit meeting.

Chicago is switching from a ward-based garbage system to one based on a grid. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has promoted the idea as an example of efficiency. The mayor's office has said the change will save $18 million annually.

The inspector general says ignoring his inquiries "does not make them go away."

Williams says the inspector general audit is premature because the rollout of the grid system isn't complete.

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