Cart-gate: Government gone clueless

by:  Diane Benjamin

Did you know City employees aren’t allowed to talk to Council members?  Why would the City have that policy?  Maybe to make sure the Council doesn’t have a clue what really happens in the City government!  Very transparent.

But, then there is the garbage cart roll-out.  Evidently it’s not going well if you are a tenant or a landlord.  Suddenly tenants that never paid garbage bills before, because it was included in their rent, got cards from the City asking what size cart they wanted.  Duh, what?  Today was the last day to decide what size you wanted.  The tenants won’t be paying, but they need to pick?  What if they are moving next month?  Are they suppose to take their cart with them?  Did anybody think to contact the landlords?  Maybe they were sent cards too!  Gee, maybe the City will be delivering the landlords cart pick AND the tenants cart pick!  I hear the City employees were fielding calls all day today – many from not so polite people.

There could be 1000 or more apartments in Bloomington, some big buildings, but a lot of old historic homes that have been converted to apartments.  Sounds like nobody considered what to do with them and a lot of postage was wasted sending cards to people they didn’t apply to.

The City still can’t decide what to do with bulk waste.  Now they have concocted a plan to not pick up leaves etc any place that doesn’t have a cart.  So, if you live next to a small apartment building with a dumpster instead of carts, and the tenants put out bulky waste, the City plans on letting it sit.  That should work well.

Good thing David Hales already got his raise!  There are a bunch of irate citizens in town and a bunch of frustrated City employees.  How many months (years?) did the City work on a solid waste plan?

Evidently common sense wasn’t involved.  Maybe somebody should ask the Rubber Stamp 7 why they think Hales is “Commendable”.   Is downtown fixed?  Wasn’t Hales charged with coming up with a plan to clean it up?  What about his new Communication Director?  Didn’t at least some of you question why he needed one?

By the way City, calling a garbage can a “cart” doesn’t change the fact its a garbage can.





11 thoughts on “Cart-gate: Government gone clueless

  1. City employees are indeed allowed to talk to council members. I know of a couple that have city council members in their contact list.

      1. It’s not city policy to not talk with council members. City employees are citizens just like everybody else.

      2. Who the hell are your sources anyway? Just wondering because you are so often factually incorrect on this blog, that you might need to find new ones.

        1. Maybe you just know the right people! What do you have a problem with? Do you think posting other different names means I don’t know who you are? Just saying . . .

  2. As a landlord in downtown Bloomington I asked my tenants to be on the lookout for the trash can mailers. I collected them and ordered the new trash cans in the sizes necessary for each apartment (usually 35 or 65 gallon). It was simply a matter of being pro-active. I thought that both the Pantagraph and the city website did a timely and thorough job of informing the community.

    Bulk waste disposal after a tenant moves out is always a problem for landlords (old couches and such). I have recently included a clause in my leases specifying that city haulage costs for bulk waste left by tenant will be deducted from their security deposit. This will, hopefully, ensure that I don’t get hit with large additional fees.

    Landscape and bulk waste left curbside by owners who “opt-out” of city garbage services and fail to make arrangements for removal of their waste should be collected and billed to the owners as an addition to their “water bills” using the $25/loader formula. There is no reason why owners who “opt-out” of city garbage collection should expect landscape and bulk waste removal to be a “free” service.

    Switching over to a “cart” system seems like a sound fiscal move to me. I’m sure that some people will mistakenly order or mistakenly receive the wrong size carts or will be caught by surprise when the new policies go into effect, but I am equally sure that these difficulties will disappear by next summer.

    We will have to look at the expenditures or savings realized in landfill fees and recycling revenue to see how this new policy fares.

    P.S. I enjoy your twitter feed.

  3. In our neighborhood we will be damn lucky if it does not get stolen! I come home from work at around 4:15pm before my wife gets home and hopefully it will still be there. We certainly do not want to keep it on our front porch so we have decided to get some log-chain and chain and pad-lock it to our back chain-link fence. A friend of mine at work told me if your garbage can lid is not closed they will not dump it and in our neighborhood these young kids run wild and do all kind of mischief, that is why we log-chained and pad-locked our cellar doors because they would open them up. We’ve had to zip-lock our utility boxes because they get into those also. We have even sealed off the east side of our house with chain-link fence because someone, probably the neighborhood kids, was punching holes and kicking in in our basement screens on our windows. Three houses west of us is a house with at least 15 kids or more, across the street from them is a house being rented by a relative of theirs that is a regular hang out for gangbangers. When they all moved in around 2 years ago all chaos has broke out in our yards. My wife talked to some neighbors where they moved from and she was told that they were constantly causing trouble. That landlord that rented to them might as well of set a bomb off on our block. We quit calling the Keystone cops because it doesn’t help!

  4. There was whinning when the City put out $169,000.00 for snow removal,realizing the city gets a discount on mailing postcards, but all the waste of money, about the info of garbage carts…. does the brain shrink along with age to those running the show ,now here it fron the whinner’s about filling POTHOLE cost!!

    1. Getting rid of an old garbage can is really problematic. Best to put a sign on it saying, “Please take this can” or it will stay on the curb forever!

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