This city of about 76,000 people in central Illinois is now requiring residents buy $50 trash cans, with an emphasis on the 96-gallon size.
Bloomington's city council on Monday approved spending $950,000 to buy 19,000 trash cans, and those costs will be passed on to residents.
"The city looked at best practices and safe work conditions for the employees and made the choice to go with (automated collections)," Alex McElroy the assistant to Bloomington's city manager, told Illinois Watchdog. "The main goal is not to have employees getting out of the truck regularly."
Bloomington had thought about privatizing its garbage collection as recently as April, but after the city's public employee unions balked, the city council caved.
Alderman Judy Stearns said at the time the idea of outsourcing some city services "has hurt city morale." She pleaded with Bloomington leaders to keep services like garbage pick-up on the city's payroll.