Garbage cans

Ballot questions cover garbage and voting

During the general election on Tuesday, November 3, residents will have the opportunity to vote on City-organized solid waste collection and ranked choice voting. 

Solid waste collection 

Two questions regarding organized collection will be on the ballot. The first asks voters if they want to change the City’s Charter to prevent the City from organizing solid waste collection without a vote in a general election. A “yes” vote means that the voter wants to change the City Charter to require the voters, in an election, to decide if Bloomington should have City-organized solid waste collection. A “no” vote means the voter does not want to change the City Charter and wishes to leave decisions about garbage and recycling collection up to the City Council.

If the first question passes and changes the Charter, the second question will give the voters an opportunity to decide whether or not City-organized collection should continue. A “yes” vote means the voter wants to stop the current City-organized trash, recycling, bulky waste, electronic waste and yard waste collection services. A “yes” vote means the voter wants to revert back to residents selecting their own individual private trash haulers. A “no” vote means the voter wants to continue the current City-organized trash, recycling, bulky waste, electronic waste, and yard waste collection services in the City.

If the first question does not pass, the second question will not be considered and City-organized solid waste collection will continue. Vote on both questions to make your preferences known.

Currently, Bloomington households have City-organized solid waste collection. A resident petition was circulated to require the City put the change to the voters as an additional step before moving to organized collection. In February 2020, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the resident petition to require a vote before moving to City-organized solid waste collection was lawful.

Solid waste collection includes the collection of garbage, recyclables, yard waste and bulky items. All one- and two-unit residences, and some townhome complexes that have chosen to opt into the program, would be affected by changes to organized collection. 

If City-organized collection ends, residents will be required to contract with a hauler they select. Prices and collection days will vary across the city.

For more information, call 952-563-4581, visit blm.mn/ocfaq or email publicworks@BloomingtonMN.gov.

Ranked choice voting 

In August, the City Council voted to include a question about ranked choice voting on this year’s ballot.  The ballot question will read: “Should the Bloomington City Charter be amended to elect the Mayor and City Council members by the Ranked Choice Voting method?” If the ballot question passes with at least 51% of voters choosing “yes,” ranked choice voting would be used for municipal elections starting in November 2021.

Ranked choice voting is sometimes referred to as “instant runoff voting” or “preferential voting.” It is a process that allows voters to rank their choices for each office. First-choice votes are counted. If no candidate has a majority of the votes (more than 50%), the candidate with the fewest number of first-choice votes is eliminated. Voters who picked the eliminated candidate as their first choice have their second-choice vote counted instead. This process repeats until one candidate has a majority. 

Read more about ranked choice voting at blm.mn/rcv