Sustainable Bulky Item Disposal Plan

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A study of over 2,000 curbside cleanup piles found that 35% of items collected and landfilled during the Curbside Cleanup are items that could have been reused or recycled. The current Curbside Cleanup generates significant waste sent to landfills, is expensive, and there are growing concerns related to availability of landfill space for these materials in the future. In 2020, after a year of studying the issues and researching potential strategies, the Sustainability Commission has proposed a new model for managing bulky items in a more sustainable and cost effective way that include giving residents vouchers to dispose of one to two bulky items at their curb throughout the year as well as hosting one or two Community Drop-Off events that would be open to all residents in Bloomington. The City is seeking community feedback to ensure that the new service options reflect the needs of our community..

Watch this video to learn more:

A study of over 2,000 curbside cleanup piles found that 35% of items collected and landfilled during the Curbside Cleanup are items that could have been reused or recycled. The current Curbside Cleanup generates significant waste sent to landfills, is expensive, and there are growing concerns related to availability of landfill space for these materials in the future. In 2020, after a year of studying the issues and researching potential strategies, the Sustainability Commission has proposed a new model for managing bulky items in a more sustainable and cost effective way that include giving residents vouchers to dispose of one to two bulky items at their curb throughout the year as well as hosting one or two Community Drop-Off events that would be open to all residents in Bloomington. The City is seeking community feedback to ensure that the new service options reflect the needs of our community..

Watch this video to learn more:

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.  It should take approximately five minutes and your feedback will be used to ensure the service options meet the needs of our community.  We will ask for your email at the end of this survey so we can keep you informed about the next steps of this process.

    Project Details: 

    In 2019 the City Council directed the Sustainability Commission to develop alternative methods to dispose of bulky items like mattresses, chairs, and tables in a more sustainable way. The current curbside model generates significant waste sent to landfills, since picking up everything all at once means most items can't be recycled. This method is expensive, and there are growing concerns related to availability of landfill space for these materials in the future.  In 2020, after a year of studying the issues and researching potential strategies, the Sustainability Commission proposed a new model for managing bulky items in a more sustainable and cost effective way.

    The proposed model is detailed below:

    1. To continue offering some sort of curbside pickup, the proposed plan would allow each household in the City’s garbage and recycling program to receive two vouchers that are each good for the collection of a bulky item, for example this could be an old refrigerator, a television, a mattress or a couch.   The resident could schedule the pickup like they do now, through Utility Billing.    Residents can schedule this anytime throughout the year.  In a voucher system, the mattresses, appliances, electronics, and some of the furniture could be recycled.  
    2. In addition to the vouchers, the City would also organize one or two citywide Community Cleanup Events each year where any Bloomington resident could bring a variety of items to a central location to be disposed of in a single day.  This type of event would allow for the materials to be sorted into several different categories for recycling and reuse.

    It costs over $1 million to provide the current Curbside Cleanup.  Based on our research as we developed the proposed plan, we found that the proposed changes could cost significantly less than the current curbside cleanup.  Because this plan is still in the Community Engagement Phase, and hasn’t been fully approved by Council, we do not have final cost figures yet.  In order to get those final cost figures, we will have to put parts of the plan, like the bulky item voucher service, out for bid, and determine other program costs.  So, it is challenging for the City to address what the actual cost savings to residents might be at this time.  However, if the final cost figures do reflect cost savings as we have anticipated, the Curbside Cleanup fee would be adjusted and reduced accordingly.

    Thanks again for your participation in this survey. 

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