Residents Invited to Participate in Leaf Collection Innovation Process

(BLOOMINGTON) – Bloomington residents are invited to attend the third and final community meeting about innovating the City’s leaf collection service.

The meeting will be held over Zoom video conferencing on Tuesday, January 26 from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. and can be joined either by phone or computer (computer recommended for better access to visual presentation and breakout sessions) at this link.

Meeting ID: 985 4309 7835

Passcode: 368495

One tap mobile: +19292056099,,98543097835#

At the meeting, City staff involved in a year-long process of evaluating the City’s vacuum leaf collection service, will present the results of a pilot program exploring alternate leaf collection strategies.

In addition, recommendations that have been made to the Department of Public Works for the future of this service will be shared. Breakout sessions during the meeting will explore factors that would support or hinder a successful implementation of the recommendation.

A cross-departmental group of city staff led by City Innovation Director Devta Kidd has been working, at Mayor John Hamilton’s direction, in collaboration with residents to evaluate the City’s current leaf collection service. This group has also been striving to develop a new service option with fewer financial and environmental impacts.  

This “Innovation Team” has interviewed members of the City’s leaf collection crew to understand the planning and implementation of the current service; interviewed and surveyed residents about their use of and satisfaction with the service; and researched how other cities were managing their leaves. Two public meetings were held in September 2020 to share the results of the research and engage residents in brainstorming new solutions to the core issues identified. 

In November and December 2020, twenty two City households piloted an alternative leaf collection strategy–informed by the team’s research and resident feedback–that challenged participants to mulch and compost as many of their leaves as possible in their own yards and only put the excess leaves out for collection using the City’s yard waste collection service (instead of the vacuum service).  The results of the pilot will be shared at the January 26 meeting.