The City of Bloomington is beefing up its Public Works crews this week as it tries to clear curbs from the last free bulk-waste pickup until October.
Looking to close a budget deficit, the Bloomington City Council recently decided to raise garbage collection fees and reduce bulk-pickup service from every other week to just twice a year. Tuesday was the first of those pickups. The next one is Oct. 1.
The city has five crews—more than usual—roaming Bloomington to pick up what was left out before 6 a.m. Tuesday, said Public Works Director Jim Karch. It will take around a week to get everything picked up, and residents will be able to track progress on cityblm.org.
“We knew it would be heavier,” he said. “We’re putting everybody we can toward it. We’re doing everything we can to get through the community as quickly as possible.”
Karch said the Oct. 1 collection will be a better gauge of how fewer bulk-pickup dates will affect residents’ behavior.
“Are they holding it back? Are they looking for other ways to reuse bulk, instead of just disposing of it? Are they looking for ways to donate it, or sell it?” Karch said. “We really hope that people will see this process and say, ‘Hey, maybe that chair can be used by somebody else. Is there somebody in the community in need?’”
Karch said he asks for the public’s patience as his crews finish the bulk-waste pickup. Keeping parked cars and vehicles off the street would help too, he said.
Between now and Oct. 1, residents will have to call Public Works or make an online request to receive bulk-waste collection at the curb. The fee for curbside collection outside of the regular collection period is $25 per bucket load (about 2.5 cubic yards). Users may also use the dropoff facility at no additional charge.
Bloomington’s changes do not impact Town of Normal residents. Bulky waste collection for Normal residents is on the same day as garbage collection.
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