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Bloomington Council mulls automated waste pickup choices

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 17:29:24 CDT
By: Lee Strubinger

The City of Bloomington is looking at recommendations by staff for streamlining garbage pickup to an automated service. Included in a work session discussion were talks about privatizing the service, even though City Council has approved a $5.6 million loan for automated vehicles. Alderman Robert Fazzini asks how the city plans to privatize garbage pickup after investing in carts and specialized trucks, and, he asks, is it practical? City Manager David Hales says after the investments, it's not impractical to privatize garbage pickup.

Hales says whether fully privatized or contracted out, there will be a market for both trucks and carts. He ackknowledges resale is not a "forgone conclusion." Bloomington officials are considering several choices in the possible transition to automated waste removal. Staff recommend the city halt pickup at apartment complexes with five or more units, because they are defined as "business endeavors." Alderman Judy Stearns says apartments typically produce less waste than the average household. She says multiple unit buildings are charged per unit, though they might only fill two containers.

Stearns says apartment tenants should have equal standing to homeowners. Stearns says she is troubled 800 addresses would lose Bloomington pickup and complex owners would have to find private contractors.

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