Sustainable Bulky Item Disposal Plan

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The City is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our current Curbside Cleanup program. Staff and the Sustainability Commission sought community feedback in April 2021 on a proposed plan for handling bulky items in Bloomington in a more sustainable way. Over 1,400 residents provided feedback in a survey and over 60 attended Community Listening Sessions #1 and #2. Since April 2021, Staff have reviewed the feedback, conducted additional research and developed a new proposal to incorporate what was heard. Staff have worked closely with the Sustainability Commission in the development of the new proposal and it has been presented to the Joint City Council and Sustainability Commission Solid Waste Working Groups. The updated proposal includes:

  • An every-other-year curbside cleanup with limited items accepted. Small items that can fit in a large garbage cart will no longer be accepted during the cleanup.
  • A regular monthly collection of reusable and recyclable bulky items.
  • An annual drop-off event for other recyclable bulky items, like electronics not collected during the curbside cleanup.
  • Community swap events for certain categories of items like toys and sporting goods, and gardening tools

More information about the new proposal: July 29, 2021 Joint City Council and Sustainability Commission Solid Waste Working Group Presentation


Community Listening Session

Attend a Community Listening Session to learn about the updated proposal for sustainable bulky item management in Bloomington and provide your feedback.

Tuesday, August 31, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held virtually over WebEx.

To register, click here.


Next Steps

On September 13, 2021, the updated proposal will be presented to City Council for discussion including a report on what staff heard during the August 31st Community Listening Session. On September 21, 2021, the proposal will be presented to the Sustainability Commission for their recommendation that City Council accept the new proposal. On September 27th, the proposal will be brought forward to City Council for adoption.

The City is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our current Curbside Cleanup program. Staff and the Sustainability Commission sought community feedback in April 2021 on a proposed plan for handling bulky items in Bloomington in a more sustainable way. Over 1,400 residents provided feedback in a survey and over 60 attended Community Listening Sessions #1 and #2. Since April 2021, Staff have reviewed the feedback, conducted additional research and developed a new proposal to incorporate what was heard. Staff have worked closely with the Sustainability Commission in the development of the new proposal and it has been presented to the Joint City Council and Sustainability Commission Solid Waste Working Groups. The updated proposal includes:

  • An every-other-year curbside cleanup with limited items accepted. Small items that can fit in a large garbage cart will no longer be accepted during the cleanup.
  • A regular monthly collection of reusable and recyclable bulky items.
  • An annual drop-off event for other recyclable bulky items, like electronics not collected during the curbside cleanup.
  • Community swap events for certain categories of items like toys and sporting goods, and gardening tools

More information about the new proposal: July 29, 2021 Joint City Council and Sustainability Commission Solid Waste Working Group Presentation


Community Listening Session

Attend a Community Listening Session to learn about the updated proposal for sustainable bulky item management in Bloomington and provide your feedback.

Tuesday, August 31, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held virtually over WebEx.

To register, click here.


Next Steps

On September 13, 2021, the updated proposal will be presented to City Council for discussion including a report on what staff heard during the August 31st Community Listening Session. On September 21, 2021, the proposal will be presented to the Sustainability Commission for their recommendation that City Council accept the new proposal. On September 27th, the proposal will be brought forward to City Council for adoption.

  • 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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Page last updated: 02 September 2021, 10:45