Minnesota Supreme Court Decision Regarding Organized Garbage and Recycling

The Minnesota Supreme Court issued a decision in a case regarding trash collection in Bloomington. The case arose out of a proposed charter amendment submitted by a group of five residents to challenge the City’s decision to change from a system of open trash collection to a system of organized collection.

Four Justices wrote the majority opinion that held a proposed city charter amendment is not improper when the amendment merely modifies the city council’s process to change the type of trash collection and supersedes conflicting city regulations. The Supreme Court also considered how the proposed charter amendment impacts the City’s contract with the consortium of garbage and recycling companies that have been providing these services in Bloomington for the past several years. Three Justices dissented. They opined that the City was correct in its position that the proposed charter amendment is an improper referendum in conflict with the city charter procedures.

The City is reviewing the opinion and evaluating next steps. There will be no change in collection services in Bloomington at this time. The City’s contract for the organized collection of garbage and recycling remains in place. Residents should continue to place their garbage and recycling out using the current collection services.

In October 2016, haulers began pickup under the organized collection program in Bloomington with service goals to reduce the number of garbage trucks on collection day, mitigate air and noise pollution, minimize wear and tear on the roadways, improve neighborhood livability and, in most cases, save each household money.