Indiana Daily Student

New initiatives help Bloomington residents manage waste

<p>The City of Bloomington&#x27;s new waste management site appears on a laptop. The new site includes a personalized waste collection calendar, tips for sorting recyclable items and a sanitation special request form.  </p>

The City of Bloomington's new waste management site appears on a laptop. The new site includes a personalized waste collection calendar, tips for sorting recyclable items and a sanitation special request form.

The City of Bloomington and the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District have rolled out two initiatives to help Bloomington residents manage their household waste in an environmentally sustainable way. Bloomington residents can now access a website for sanitation information and buy rain barrels and compost bins at a discount. 

The city introduced the website to help increase waste collection operation efficiency, according to a press release Wednesday from the City of Bloomington. The interactive website offers the city’s sanitation customers access to waste pickup schedules at their address and a search tool for customers to look up the categories of their waste. It also allows Monroe County residents to request pickup of large items or additional assistance.

Non-recyclable items are the main reason why many of Bloomington’s recycling carts are rejected by recycling crews, according to the release. This includes products such as grease-stained pizza boxes, plastic film and styrofoam.

Thirty-nine percent of Monroe County’s mixed waste is compostable and 34% is recyclable by the district’s and the city’s recycling programs, according to a 2017 Kessler Consulting study for the waste management district.

The waste management district and the City of Bloomington are also partnering to promote home composting and rainwater collection, according to the press release. The district and the city are offering discounted compost bins for $54.95 and rain barrels for $69.95 until April 5, the deadline to place an order.

Lauren Travis, the City of Bloomington’s assistant director of sustainability, said the stewardship practices of home composting and rainwater collection help reduce climate change.

“It helps reduce climate change by returning food waste to the earth and conserving and protecting water quality in the Monroe County community,” Travis said in a press release.

Orders are taken online, and customers can pick up their compost bins and rain barrels from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 17 or April 24. The pickup locations are the main parking lot of the South Walnut Recycling Center at 3400 S. Walnut St. or Switchyard Park at 1601 S. Rogers St., according to the release.

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