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Mayor Hamilton Proposes Updates to City’s Sanitation Operations

August 17, 2016

For more information, please contact:
Adam Wason, Public Works Director, 812.349.3410,

Mayor Hamilton Proposes Updates to City's Sanitation Operations

Bloomington, Ind. - Today Mayor John Hamilton proposed a new sanitation services delivery model to benefit customers, employees, the community and the environment. The administration recommends a phased-in approach to modernizing the way solid waste and recycling are collected, including mechanized lifters, uniform rolling carts for each household, volume-based pricing and weekly single-stream recycling by summer of 2017. The City will continue to refine details of the new system, and welcomes feedback from the public.

The current collection system is based on mid-20th century practices requiring all solid waste and recycling to be manually loaded into the back of the refuse truck. This inefficient approach is dangerous and results in high numbers of employee injuries and high costs related to workers' compensation.

"I want my administration to pick important problems, and then solve them. Bringing our sanitation services into the 21st century is one important problem we want to solve. We are going to try some new things with our trash and recycling. Some may work better than others, but we're going to keep the focus on employee safety, efficiency, cost savings and what's best for the environment," Mayor Hamilton said at the press conference.

The goal of the new trash and recycling system focuses on three key concerns:

  • Employee safety and wellness

  • Replacing an aging fleet of sanitation trucks that are beyond their normal usefulness

  • Implementing a smart city approach to generate and use data to improve service delivery, lower environmental impact and save costs

The City will phase in replacement vehicles to support the new collection system over the next four years so it can spread out capital outlay, set benchmarks and service delivery standards based on local experiences and data, provide flexibility in the timing of implementation, and continue to receive public input.

The new system would eliminate the need for trash stickers. Sanitation customers would be billed through their existing City of Bloomington Utilities bill and would have all the options for online payment they have currently for their utility bill.

"I think this change is going to give our residents some clear benefits. No more trash stickers, single stream recycling will now be provided weekly and customers will have nice wheeled carts to put trash and recycling in. I'm excited to roll this out, both for the convenience of our customers and the safety of our employees, " commented Public Works Director Adam Wason.

The full report is available on the City's website at [|].

For more information, please contact Adam Wason, Public Works Director, 812.349.3410,