BlOOMINGTON — Bloomington public works crews have picked up more than 710 tons of bulk waste during the free spring citywide collection, which ends this week, exceeding the fall pickup total by about 110 tons.
"We've actually have more tonnage from this spring collection than we've had in the last two bulk collection events," said Bloomington Public Works Director Jim Karch on Tuesday.
"Our crews are working hard to stay on schedule," he added. "If we don't finish today (Tuesday) we will be finishing up first thing tomorrow (Wednesday) because we've had so much material left out."
Crews had collected 710 tons of bulk waste by the end of Monday. The city picked up 547 tons during the first citywide collection, May 1-9, 2018, and 600 tons over two weeks in October.
In May 2018, the city shifted away from curbside bulk waste pickup every other week to doing it only twice a year. Under the old system, a household's first front-end loader bucket of waste was free, but now there is no limit on the amount for free pickup in the spring and fall collections.
"We think this is a really positive change in our practice because it improved communication with our citizens, and it also prevented material from staying out on the curb for long periods of time," said Karch.
"We got positive feedback from citizens about the improved customer service and efficiency," he added. "We saw less calls of concern from citizen, and we saw an increased appreciation from citizens knowing what day we were going to be out there at their properties."
During the bulk waste collection, crews also picked up leaves and brush.
"With leaves falling late last fall, we had a lot of leaves left over that we had to pick up in addition to the brush. So this really gave us some additional items to collect this spring," said Karch. "We got all of that done at the same time. It really was an impressive job that our crews did this spring."
"We anticipate using the same type of scheduling for our bulk waste," he said.
Bulk waste left at the curb between the spring and fall collection periods will be picked up, but at a cost to the resident disposing of the material.
Public works will charge $25 per front-end loader bucket (about 2.5 cubic yards) for household bulk waste and $100 per bucket for sod, dirt, concrete, rocks and shingles.