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Bloomington Residents Need To Choose Their Trash Carts
Updated May 16, 2017 5:20 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - It's time for City of Bloomington residents to choose their cart sizes for the new automated trash and recycling collection system coming for residents who currently receive curbside service from the city.

Already in successful use throughout the country, the modernized collection system will eliminate the need for trash stickers and make possible both trash (solid waste) and weekly single stream (meaning plastics, paper and metals do not have to be separated) recycling collection. While the new system won't be fully operational until this fall, now is the time for households to choose cart sizes - one for trash and one for recyclables.

The new system, approved by City Council in March, addresses a variety of concerns: an aging, inefficient fleet of trash trucks, employee injuries from manually loading trash onto trucks and the resulting costly worker's compensation claims. Old trucks that had to be replaced anyway will be replaced with new technology-enabled trucks that will better protect the welfare of sanitation workers, maximize route efficiency and improve sanitation service to residents.

The new carts offer a clean and convenient way for residents to dispose of trash and recyclables by increasing capacity and offering a simpler single stream recycling method. The new program provides residents with carts made of a sturdy commercial-grade plastic and recycled content. Wheels provide easy movement and hinged lids contain items within the carts, minimizing animal scavenging and loose trash. Old trash cans currently in use can be recycled, if desired.

To preview the carts between now and the middle of June, the City will have viewing stations in the City Hall Atrium and the Saturday Farmers' Market, both at 401 North Morton St., and at Winslow Sports Complex at 2800 S. Highland Ave. Businesses interested in displaying the carts for the public are encouraged to contact Public Works at 812-349-3410.

According to Public Works Director Adam Wason, "We know it can be hard to visualize the new cart sizes, so we will have examples here in City Hall and out in the community for residents to look at and determine which size best suits their household's needs. I encourage anyone with questions to contact us either by phone or email. My staff and I are excited to be able to offer this modernized system and are happy to answer any questions our customers might have."

Each household will receive one cart for trash and one for recycling this fall. Residents may opt out of the recycling cart, although it is provided to each household at no cost for either the cart or weekly recycling pick-up and residents are strongly encouraged to recycle.

"This is a great step forward in one of the basic services we provide our residents. There is always a time of fine tuning with any new program, but I'm confident once it is fully operational, residents are going to appreciate the weekly, single stream recycling and the convenience of the carts. I know I'm looking forward to no longer using trash stickers!" commented Mayor John Hamilton.

Cart sizes include the following options: 35 gallons, 64 gallons, and 96 gallons. If a household wishes to receive the 64-gallon cart for both trash and recycling, they do not need to do anything. However, for residents who wish to request a combination of sizes, for example a 64-gallon recycling cart and a 35-gallon trash cart, please make your selection by visiting and filling out the selection form found at the top of the page. Residents receiving City sanitation services have been sent a form in the mail, which may be used to make cart size selections. If you did not receive a form and wish to have one, please contact the Public Works Department at 812-349-3410 and one will be sent to you.

The Sanitation Department MUST receive responses by Sunday, June 18 in order for each cart selection to be included in the City's purchase of carts. Residents with no response will receive the default sizes of 64 gallons each for solid waste and recycling.

Cart size options and associated costs:

35-gallon cart (holds up to 3 standard 13-gallon kitchen-size bags)
Dimensions (19"wide/23.75"deep/37.5" high)
Monthly Fee Range for collection: $4.82 to $6.51

64-gallon cart (holds up to 6 standard 13-gallon kitchen-size bags)
Dimensions (24" wide/27" deep/41.5" high)
Monthly Fee Range $8.60 to $11.61

96-gallon cart (holds up to 10 standard 13-gallon kitchen-size bags)
Dimensions (26" wide/34.5" deep/46" high)
Monthly Fee Range $13.72 to $18.52

The monthly fee range will narrow to one price within the range for each cart size following the Board of Public Works (BPW) July 25 meeting. Once the 15,000 households served by City Sanitation make their cart choices, The BPW will have adequate data to determine a sustainable financial model for the modernization effort. Once established, fees will be widely announced to enable households to plan accordingly. Charges will be added to resident's City of Bloomington Utilities monthly bill as a separate line item following implementation.

Carts will be delivered to residents this fall and operations of the modernized automated sanitation program will begin shortly thereafter. Additional information about proper cart usage will be provided as the modernized collection system kick off nears.

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