Bloomington: Pay up

By: Diane Benjamin

Remember when Bloomington bought all new garbage trucks so they only needed one person instead of two? Remember when they bought “carts” so those trucks could pick them up automatically? Remember when that didn’t save enough money so a previous Council passed automatic fee increases to avoid ever having to vote on them again?

The waste enterprise fund is still running out of money. These are the items being blamed:

Of course no money from the General Fund can be used to subsidize the cost. This enterprise fund was created to show you why you need to pay more for what taxes used to cover.

They didn’t talk about dumping recycling like other cities have since there is no market.

They didn’t talk about outsourcing bulk pickup which disrupts operations twice a year. They do think people who don’t live in Bloomington are dropping items off at “friends” houses to take advantage of the fun, but no proof was offered. They are considering going back to how pickups used to work.

More causes of the shortfall:

Again, no outsourcing to cheaper labor.

Surprise surprise, the City used to supplement the fund with money from the General Fund until they decided to spend that elsewhere!

Looks like Normal talked them into paying a little for their drop boxes. It also looks like it would be far cheaper to quit recycling! If no market exists and the City has to pay to get the stuff hauled away, the recycling people should present what they do with it. They might be getting paid to haul it all to the landfill in hopes of someday having a market again.

Possible changes:

You will be hearing about solid waste even more than 2 Committee of the Whole meetings in a row. Staff might recommend eliminating twice a year bulk and going back to whenever it appears. Maybe that will be in meeting 3.

One bit of good news: Remember all the bills I reported on here? https://blnnews.com/2019/07/03/know-what-these-bills-are-for/

City employees are now hauling items dropped off at the convenience center instead of paying Henson Disposal way too much to haul it away.

Stayed tuned for more solid waste discussion, they haven’t gotten to your cost going up again even more than it already does without a vote.

Next week Jenn Carrillo’s Welcoming City ordinance will be on the agenda. She didn’t bother to show up to this meeting, must not have been enough social justice stuff.

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