BLOOMINGTON — Lingering criticism about the city's two free bulk waste collections last year has centered on unsightly piles of garbage along the curbs that took crews several weeks to pick up because of the large volume.
So the mayor is happy that the public works department is making changes to alleviate that problem during its free spring bulk waste collection next month.
Public works crews will be collecting bulk waste from May 1 through May 14, but this year residents are being given a specific date on which crews will arrive to collect their items.
"Keeping the city clean is very important," said Public Works Director Jim Karch. "By scheduling what day we will be there to collect bulk waste, it reduces the amount of time that the items sit out and keeps our parkways clean."
Residents can find online their designated day for bulk waste collection in their neighborhood at the city's website at http://www.cityblm.org/. A map with projected start dates is available by clicking onto the "free spring bulk collection" icon.
On their designated day, residents need to have their unwanted furniture, appliances and other bulk waste items on the curb by 6 a.m. to ensure pickup.
Brush also will picked up at the curb on those same days, added Karch.
Last October, city crews collected over two weeks almost 600 tons of bulk waste and 2,340 cubic yards of brush left at the curb.
The facility also offers information about local charities that accept donations and find out how to dispose of waste in an environmentally sustainable manner.
The facility at the corner of East and Jackson streets, south of the Bloomington Public Library, is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Entrance gates close 15 minutes early. The convenience center is closed on Sundays and municipal holidays.
In May 2018, the city shifted away from curbside bulk waste pickup every other week to doing it 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.
This year’s free fall bulk waste collection will take place in October.
In between pickups, the city charges $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.
The city collects appliances, mattresses, lamps, couches and other types of furniture.
The city will not pick up TVs, monitors and construction materials such as roofing materials, shingles, concrete, asphalt, rock or sod.
Garbage will continue to be collected weekly. Recycling and brush will be picked up every other week, all at no additional charge.