Court Hears Bloomington Organized Trash Charter Change Case

Representatives of the people of Bloomington who want a vote on “organized trash” in the city were back in court on October 17.  A Hennepin County judge held a hearing on the lawsuit they filed when the city rejected their latest petition. 

While the city claimed that it would be “manifestly unconstitutional” to amend the city charter along the lines sought by the residents, the petition was actually in line with the earlier findings of a Hennepin County judge. It sought to amend the city’s charter to require a vote of Bloomington residents before restrictions could be imposed by the city on open competition in trash collection.

In the October 17 hearing, the judge made clear that he understood the issue being contested by the lawsuit and had fully read the briefing material submitted by both sides.  Both sides were asked to present what they thought were the most pertinent facts in their favor.  The judge has up to 90 days to issue his ruling on the lawsuit.

It is interesting to note that prior to the imposition of Organized Trash Collection, Bloomington residents who wished to opt out of having their trash collected would simply notify their trash company to stop collecting their trash.  Under the new scheme, residents cannot just notify the city to stop collecting their trash.  The residents must apply to be approved for removal from the rolls, and this application is accompanied by a $35 fee. 

Yet, despite the expense and red tape, 140 Bloomington residents have notified the city that they intend to opt out of the new system, temporarily or permanently.

Additional information can be found in an article written by Miguel Otarola and published in the October 23, 2016 edition of the Star Tribune.