Privatize Garbage Service!

By: Diane Benjamin

The City of Bloomington has been struggling with balancing the solid waste enterprise fund for many years. Don’t forget, until 2005 the taxes you already paid covered the service. The enterprise fund was established only to tax you more until the fund balances. Yearly 3% increases haven’t kept the fund in balance, so the city spent 4 meetings putting out data in preparation for more changes.

Decatur has private service with the rates controlled by the City Council. I found an interesting article from 2018 when Bloomington’s top two guys had the same jobs in Decatur. Tim Gleason and Billy Tyus already know about privatizing service. (link below)

In 2018 Decatur raised rates for the first time in EIGHT YEARS from $14.50 per month to $17.50. The charge increases $.50 a year until 2021. Bloomington increases rates 3% a year without a Council vote.

Bloomington’s rates back in 2014-2016, they have increased much faster than the inflation rate:

Bloomington’s current rates:

The private hauler rates in Decatur are close to half what Bloomington charges!

Nothing will change unless citizens demand change.

Recycling and brush are included in Decatur’s rates, Tim Gleason and Billy Tyus will know what Decatur does with bulk collection.

Bloomington can continue to cut service and raise rates or realize the obvious: privatization is the only responsible option. This article claims Decatur had 16 hauler complaints in a year and a half:

Bloomington gets complaints like missed pickups, complaints aren’t unusual. I’ve written about at least one before:

It is way past time to have a privatization discussion.

Below is the agenda item where Decatur raised the rates:

9 thoughts on “Privatize Garbage Service!

  1. There is no doubt it would be more economical for citizens if the city contracted with a third party for garbage service. Unfortunately, the decision makers remember how this played out before when former Public Works Director, Jim Karch supported “exploring” outsourcing the service.

    The outrage from the union and lack of support from the mayor and council not only quickly killed any comparison, but also cost Karch his job as he was shuffled off to another position for his efforts.

    This one is going no where.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Diane!
    You won’t hear anything about this in the Pantagraph.
    Our local politicians don’t read the Pantagraph because they don’t need to look in a mirror and see their own political line.
    I bet a lot of them read BLN to find out what the common sense and inquisitive voters know by reading your reporting.
    Accountability is in short supply these days. Politicians must watch their step because of you alone.

    Great reporting Diane!
    You deserve a raise!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I would suggest that anyone who pays for a magazine or newspaper consider if the money they spend on them would be better spent supporting BLN.
        What real value do you get from the Pantagraph or the Wall Street Journal or any other magazine/paper that is more important than knowing things often hidden in your local community?

        Liked by 2 people

    There are SO many benefits to the residents/tax payers!!
    I have wanted this to happen for YEARS!!

    But what can I do to help move this idea forward???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Where I live, garbage/recycling/bulk is private, and rates are not determined by government. They are determined by free market competition. On my street, which has 14 houses counting both sides, there are 4 different garbage companies that pick up here, and all on different days. I pay $16 per month, and they will take anything. They ask that you let them know in advance regarding a bulk item like a fridge or other large item. The truck has ONE person. All garbage cans are on wheels, which he rolls to the power arm that picks them up and dumps them. It slides between two bins. One regular garbage, and one recycling, so we always have two garbage cans. I have watched him many times, Effortless and efficient.

    Liked by 2 people

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