BLOOMINGTON — City Public Works Department crews collected 586 tons of bulk waste in the first spring citywide bulk waste pickup that was completed late last week.
"That equates to 15 percent of the bulk waste tonnage that we collected over the entire 2017 calendar year," said Public Works Director Jim Karch. "There was a lot of material out there."
The city collected 3,957 tons of bulk waste last year, Karch noted.
The city staff anticipated it would take five days to complete the collection that began May 1, but it took seven working days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) to complete.
Some equipment broke down which shut down a work crew, causing a setback in the time frame for completion, said Karch.
"We treated this like a snow event. We threw everything we had at this," he said. "We did have between five and six crews out every day with rear packers and extra trucks out. We had every public works employee in our operations area on the street except for a sign shop crew and somebody for sewer backups."
"We were somewhat surprised by the amount of material that was out because people had been having the opportunity already to take advantage of bulk collection," he said.
"We really think a lot of folks used this to do a good clean-out of their houses and garages. There were lamps and chairs and couches. There were a lot of mattresses and furniture."
Those who did not place items at the curb by the deadline have the option of taking items to the Citizen Convenience Center at no additional charge or requesting a pickup at a cost of $25 per bucket (about 2.5 cubic yards).
The Citizen Convenience Center is located at East and Jackson streets, south of the Bloomington Public Library. Hours of operation through Memorial Day are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. After Memorial Day, the hours will be 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the same hours on Saturday.
To request a pickup, Solid Waste Program users can use the MyBloomington app, available on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and at www.cityblm.org/mybloomington. To find the request type, users can search “Bulk Waste Pickup.”
But Karch urged residents to consider another option.
"Instead of the immediate response of getting rid of it, look to see if it is something that could be re-purposed or reused by somebody. Look at donating it to some of our local nonprofits and other people in need in the community," said Karch.
The fall bulk waste collection will take place on Oct. 1. Additional information on that collection will be released closer to the start date. The department will use the first two collection periods to better understand how the schedule will work in future years.
"We're going to be proactive in some rental of equipment and we're going to be proactive in how we schedule it," said Karch about the fall bulk waste collection.
Brush collection will continue to take place every other week on non-recycle weeks.