In this picture given to the city council, cars parked at apartment buildings are blocking the city from using the new automated trash and recycling collection trucks. (Photo courtesy of the city of Bloomington)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - The first report from Bloomington staff on the change in automated waste and recycling collection points out some problems for apartment dwellers in Bloomington.
Staff recommends the city stop collecting trash and recycling for apartments or condos of five units or more because of the complications of collection and cost to the city. Apartment building owners would have to contract with a private hauler.
"We're going to be eliminating a lot of people from city of Bloomington pick up, in other words they will not be able to receive city of Bloomington pickup, and that will be a lot of citizens that just live in their rentals," Alderwoman Judy Stearns said.
She also asked how many people will be affected by that potential change. City Manager David Hales said that will come in one of the next solid waste reports.
Staff also recommends changes to bulk waste pick up because it is the largest cost to the solid waste program. Those include reducing the number of free buckets from two to on and increasing the charge of buckets from $25 to $30.
The report also said with the automated recycling and garbage collection, not as many employees are needed to operate the trucks. Staff recommends moving the displaced employees to streets and sewers or seasonal work, such as snow removal.
The city council has at least one answer on recycling drop off. Downtown property owners can apparently drop off recycling at a collection at Fox and Hounds, which Alderwoman Karen Schmidt said has been there for years.
"And, really it's just a service that Tim and Vicki (Tilton) provide for downtown," Schmidt said. "There's also been a trial with Allied Waste to see if we can't put some of the bigger commercial bins out there for bars and restaurants to be able to get their commercial recycling, because that's huge."
The report states that the downtown can't accommodate the new automated trucks, so staff recommends no change to collection. The area will still get weekly manual pick up, but no bulk waste collection.
Alderman Rob Fazzini asked if the city considers any kind of privatization for collection, if it was a waste of money to purchase the new trucks and bins. Hales said no, because the city purchased new trucks with the same specs as contracted collectors use.
"So, weather you contracted out or even fully privatized, there would be a market for those," Hales said.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.