Rethinking how Bloomington collects old appliances, furniture | Bloomington

Cleaning up the roadside

Bloomington’s annual spring cleaning ritual known as Citywide Curbside Cleanup could look different in the years to come. The city will

Hold meetings to discuss proposed changes to the residential program for the disposal of bulky, unwanted items. (Photo submitted)

When it comes time to throw away an old refrigerator or mattress, Bloomington residents have kept an eye on the spring calendar for a long time.

The city runs a spring cleaning campaign every year, during which residents can bring old carpets and sofas to the curb on their scheduled Saturday. The program is paid for by residents through a fee on their bi-monthly utility bills and results in significant landfill transportation as most of the items collected through roadside collection cannot be recycled.

It’s an expensive program that the city wants to change. Laura Horner, the Bloomington Public Works project coordinator, will provide an overview of the new plan in two sessions this month.

Bloomington City Council directed the city’s Sustainability Commission to establish an alternative method of disposing of the bulk materials collected each spring. After a year of studying the issues and researching potential strategies, in 2020 the commission proposed a new model that would give residents vouchers to dispose of a bulky item or two on their curb all year round. The plan would also include a community filing day or two that would be open to all residents

Public works and commissioners will be hosting streaming presentations on the program on Wednesday March 10th and Tuesday March 23rd from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. City officials will answer questions and seek feedback on the plan before finalizing it for council review this summer, Horner said.

The plan does not include an estimate. The current program costs more than $ 1 million a year. Part of the plan’s goal is to lower the cost of providing annual service while reducing the environmental impact of the city’s annual disposal of old equipment and other household waste. An estimate will not be available until the city seeks quotes for a final plan, Horner noted.

Residents who are unable to attend any of the meetings are welcome to complete an online survey, she added.

Information on the schedule and links to register for the online presentations can be found at

Follow Bloomington Community Editor Mike Hanks on Twitter at @suncurrent and on Facebook at suncurrentcentral.

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