Coliseum Garbage Service

By:  Diane Benjamin

In June of 2018 the City Council approved buying two Knuckleboom trucks:   PDF page 300


I was told they were delivered late last fall.

The total cost was $308,819.96

This note is included on PDF page 317:

kb doc

These two vehicles were not used for the May bulk pickup and they haven’t been used for brush pickups either.

The biggest problem, as sources tell me, is on-street parking.  The arm can’t reach over vehicles.  The drivers need special training and I believe they are paid more.

I asked Jim Karch this:

me - Karch

His response verifies they aren’t being used:

karch - me

Meanwhile, the 5 year warranty is down to 4 1/2 years.

Was this purchase great in theory and really bad in execution?

The stories about brush not being picked up are easily the most read this week.  People expect better service when rates have been raised, bulk is only twice a year now, and brush isn’t picked up.


The City could authorize two or three garbage haulers to compete for your business.  You would be paying less because that’s what competition does.  They wouldn’t miss pickup because they know you can cancel their service and pick someone else.

Bloomington is locked into government controlled hell.  Service doesn’t matter because you have no choices.  You now have Coliseum garbage/brush/bulk service and there is nothing you can do about it.  Every six months the crews have to spend weeks picking up bulk.  That means regular routes don’t get done.  

In 5 months it starts over again.


15 thoughts on “Coliseum Garbage Service

  1. The city should not own or operate a garbage truck or a lawn mower. These are two services that can be easily and more effectively handled by the private sector.

    But….that would eliminate so many union positions and pensions and we all know that is off limits.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of these trucks was in our neighborhood about a month ago. It was being used to pick up brush. I wish I had a camera because the operator was literally picking up the pile one stick at a time. It was the most inefficient use of a boom truck I have ever seen. He never finished the pile, a front end loader came over and scooped up the whole mess in 5 seconds.


    1. count yourself lucky you still have a lawn. I’ve seen these things in action and had to have city of normal come out and put not only new grass seeds but dirt into the crevice that they took with the brush. in an inexperienced hands these things can haul not only your brush but your yard and you car .


  3. They even complicate, mismanage, waste money and screw up garbage collection – they never cease to amaze me in the extent of their ineptitude. I wonder if any of them have built a yacht in their basements?


    1. they dont have to build a yacht in their basements because,since they are city union, they have enough tax dollars to buy what they want.


  4. The only other point to mention is that those knucklebooms are far more efficient then they way they’re currently picking up brush/waste. Why? Because they only require 1 person to operate and perform the work. But they’re not being used because Bloomington’s unions need to have at least 3-4 people working on those crews. So guess what? Those nice new knucklebooms will never get used to their full potential without a large crew. It’s a shame, but the union’s want to make sure they have at least a few guys standing around doing nothing while the front loader and one other guy is picking up lose stuff. What a waste of time.


      1. Have you ever seen them picking up brush on the side of the road? The current operation is a dump truck (1), a front loader (1) and 1-2 guys on the ground helping load it. That’s 3-4 guys. The knucklebooms are not for garbage collection, which only requires one person (obviously). It might not say it in their contract, but that’s how they do it for brush collection. I see it ever single day.


  5. Knucklehead Purchase seems more appropriate. Must be contagious as most all government employees are afflicted.


  6. We have garbage service? I just figured they were on strike or retired. And speaking of service, does ANYONE else’s paperboy go at 10 or 12 in the a.m.? The one in our neighborhood does quite regularly..


    1. also party when moral low and on holidays(4th July next one)/ and whenever they feel like kicking back for a brew and pizza.


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