Pandemic notebook: Reporting delay means hiccup in decreasing trend, city sanitation crews get thanks

The decreasing trend in positive COVID-19 numbers, after a plateau, hit a hiccup statewide and in Monroe County, based on numbers updated on Friday by Indiana’s state department of health.

According to the state’s department of health, the number of cases reported for Thursday, Jan. 27, included 4,705 cases statewide that were “delayed in processing and otherwise would have been included over the course of this week.”

Incorporating the new cases for Thursday into the rolling 7-day average for Monroe County meant that 490 replaced the 335 cases from 8 days ago in the calculation. That bumped the rolling daily average for the county from 236 to 258. That leaves the rolling average still 30 cases a day lower than the peak of the rolling average a couple of weeks ago.

The 490 cases were the most reported in Monroe County on any one day of the pandemic so far. It’s not clear if Indiana’s department of health will eventually try to allocate the positive test numbers reported for Jan. 27 to the dates when they should have been reported. Continue reading “Pandemic notebook: Reporting delay means hiccup in decreasing trend, city sanitation crews get thanks”

Bloomington resumes curbside recycling pickup week of Oct. 4

In a news release issued early Saturday evening, the city of Bloomington has announced that curbside recycling service will resume on Monday, Oct. 4.

Last week the recycling service was cancelled, because not enough sanitation workers were available to work. Several workers had tested positive for the COVID-19 pandemic virus.

For residents whose recycling efforts exceed the size of the cart in any one week, for the coming week, they can set out additional items in other containers. The news release cautions, “Recycling placed in plastic bags will not be collected.”

Last week, the news release announcing the cancellation of recycling pickup did not come until Sunday afternoon.

The word did not get out to every resident. A uReport from Thursday noted: “Although my trash was taken my recycling was left Tuesday morning. There was no indication or notice sticker as to why.”

Regular trash pickup was not affected. Continue reading “Bloomington resumes curbside recycling pickup week of Oct. 4”

COVID-19 impact: No recycling pickup in Bloomington for week starting Sept. 27

Recycling pickup by the city of Bloomington will be canceled for the week starting Monday, Sept. 27 according to a news release issued by the city on Sunday afternoon.

The reason for the interruption in service, which will last at least a week, according to the news release, is a shortage of sanitation workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the news release, the city’s currently available sanitation workforce is less than half the number needed for normal operations.

After last Thursday’s report of city workforce COVID-19 cases, the sanitation division reported  three more positive COVID-19 cases and six additional potential exposures, according to the news release. Continue reading “COVID-19 impact: No recycling pickup in Bloomington for week starting Sept. 27”

Trash cart rate increase makes public works director think about the future of recycling: “Bloomington is a community that is known to be entrepreneurial…”

Starting in the April billing cycle, Bloomington residents will pay more every month for trash and recycling service. That’s the result of a unanimous vote on the three-member board of public works at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

In round numbers, customers will pay between $3.50 and $23 more a year, depending on the size of the trash cart they use.

The fee increase is due to costs that are charged to the city by Republic Services for processing recycled materials. Those costs have replaced payments the city previously received (“rebates”) for its recycling commodities, according to Bloomington’s director of public works, Adam Wason.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Wason spitballed a possible new way of paving local streets.

The two topics—recycling pickup charges and road resurfacing—are related. How? Continue reading “Trash cart rate increase makes public works director think about the future of recycling: “Bloomington is a community that is known to be entrepreneurial…””

Bloomington wants to increase trash cart fees to maximum allowed by local law

Barchart for Sanitation Disposal
The $402,065 of “disposal” costs for 2019 include $85,616 for processing 3,243 tons of recyclables at a new rate of $26.40 per ton. It’s typically been a rebate, not a cost, but because the global recycling commodities market is down, Bloomington now has to pay to get its recycled material processed.

Bloomington residents who use medium-sized solid waste carts for their trash will pay about $13 more per year, if the board of public works approves a rate increase at its meeting next Tuesday.

The fee for small- and large-sized carts would also increase under the proposal from the sanitation division of the city’s public works department. Continue reading “Bloomington wants to increase trash cart fees to maximum allowed by local law”