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Alderman Mulls New Bulk Waste Rules For Landlords

Carleigh Gray
City crews during a bulk waste pickup earlier this year.

A Bloomington alderman who owns rental property herself said she thinks the city should set some rules for landlords in hopes of reducing unsightly bulk waste being left on the curb.

The City of Bloomington recently eliminated its twice-monthly free bulk pickup service as part of budget cuts. The last free pickup was May 1, and the next one isn’t until Oct. 1. Residents do have other options, including free dropoff at the city’s Citizen Convenience Center or a $25 on-demand pickup.

But since May 1, there have been reports of bulk waste being left out at the curbs anyway—a sign some residents or property owners didn’t get the message.

Alderman Karen Schmidt said her ward, which includes downtown and parts of southwest Bloomington, is home to many rental properties. Tenant moveouts, particularly at the end of the school year near Illinois Wesleyan, have led to more visible bulk waste being left out, Schmidt said.

“I’m hoping we’ll begin to set some rules around landlords. I’m a landlord, so I realize I’m talking about myself here too,” Schmidt said on GLT's Sound Ideas. “Moveouts are part of doing business as a landlord. That’s very different from someone cleaning out their garage, basement, or attic. So I hope that we begin to parse those things out, and once we do that, that scenario shifts even more.”

Schmidt said she’s also noticed some informal entrepreneurs who’ve begun offering their pickup services to those who don't want to use the city’s dropoff center or pay the city $25.

“The city has a plan to educate, and it’s a habit change and a culture change. People have a lot of options,” Schmidt said.

GLT's Full Interview with Alderman Karen Schmidt.

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Ryan Denham is the content director for WGLT and WCBU.