(BLOOMINGTON) – Community members will participate in an information session today from 7 to 8 p.m. about the curbside leaf collection program in Bloomington. This is the first of three community meetings being held this month to give residents the opportunity to shape the future of the City’s leaf management service to be more useful and to align more closely with goals for environmental and economic sustainability, as captured in Mayor John Hamilton’s Recover Forward initiative.
Information about the project and all associated public meetings can be found on the project page at https://bloomington.in.gov/innovate/2020-leaves.
During this evening’s meeting, the City’s Innovation Team leading the effort to evaluate and improve leaf collection will summarize findings from a community survey circulated in late July to gauge opinion about the current leaf vacuuming program. 381 residents responded to the survey, yielding, among others, the following results:
- Nearly half of those surveyed said that they use multiple methods for managing their leaves, and that the vacuum service plays a big part as does composting.
- The overall impression of the program is positive (46%), however 59% said that the timing of the service was not.
- To improve the service, the top-rated suggestion offered by nearly a third of all respondents was finding a way to communicate more accurate and timely information about when the crews will be on their street for pick up.
- Also in the top ten suggestions were ideas about increasing frequency or timing of the service including making it a year-round service; focusing resources toward education and outreach on composting and mulching; eliminating the program all together; or making collection an on-demand service.
The second public meeting takes place Tuesday, September 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Residents are welcome to join the meeting from their computer at home, or participate from the Cascades Golf Course Clubhouse (3550 North Kinser Pike) where the meeting will be projected on screens in a well-ventilated space that allows for physical distancing for up to 15 participants.
The focus of the second meeting is to engage residents in generating new ideas that will address the issues of financial and environmental cost as well as misalignment of the service with climate variability and resident needs. New ideas generated will be evaluated by the Innovation Team for possible pilot projects this fall.
The third and final public meeting will review the effectiveness of what was piloted in 2020 and discuss recommendations for the 2021 leaf management program. Information about meeting time and video conferencing options will be posted at https://bloomington.in.gov/innovate/2020-leaves.