Curbside Cleanup study released

Many Bloomington residents participate in the annual spring Curbside Cleanup program. A new study determined the amount of reusable and recyclable material that is disposed of as part of the Cleanup.  The information will be used to better understand the environmental impact of the program, and to identify options for disposing of bulky items in more environmentally sustainable ways. In the current program, appliances and brush are collected during the cleanup for recycling. The rest of the items are collected for disposal as garbage.

The City Council requested the Bloomington Sustainability Commission look at the Curbside Cleanup program. A working group contracted with consultant, Foth, to conduct a waste characterization audit.  A team of 20 dedicated volunteers and City staff helped carry out the study.  The team went out early each Saturday morning during last year’s Cleanup to study what items were in the piles for haulers to collect. The team looked at piles at more than 2,000 households across the city, with more than 19,000 items inventoried. 

“The study looked at what was going into the Curbside Cleanup piles and found that many of the materials being left out on the curb could be reused.” Public Works Project Manager Laura Horner said. “The program is not only expensive, it adds to growing environmental concerns about landfill expansion.”

The Sustainability Commission is considering more environmentally efficient ways to handle bulky items in the future. While change may come, this year’s Cleanup will not see adjustments.

For more information, visit or call 952-563-8760.