Press release: COVID Cases at Sanitation Division Force Week-Long Pause in Recycling Pickup

The following press release was sent to The Bloomingtonian Sunday afternoon: 


September 26, 2021

For more information, please contact:

Yaël Ksander, Communications Director, City of Bloomington, [email protected], or Adam Wason, Public Works Director, City of Bloomington, [email protected]

COVID Cases at Sanitation Division Force Week-Long Pause in Recycling Pickup

Bloomington, Ind. – Due to a spike in COVID-19 cases and close contacts at the Sanitation Division of the Department of Public Works, workforce numbers are currently at less than 50% of what is needed for normal operations. Sanitation has reported a total of three new positive cases and six additional potential exposures since the City’s last weekly report (September 23) of COVID-19 cases among the workforce.

As a result, recycling pickup will be paused for at least this week, to allow the on-duty crew members to operate regular solid waste/trash pickup. Decisions on when recycling services will resume will be made as these staffing impacts are further clarified.

Households are asked not to place recycling carts at the curb this week. In the interim, you may store your recyclables until regular pickup resumes or take your recyclables to one of the Monroe County Recycle Centers. Locations and instructions on how to recycle are at

The Sanitation Department is developing additional pickups and interim solutions as they become available. City staff are also contacting private haulers and other potential service providers to mitigate impacts. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.  The City regrets any inconvenience caused by this COVID-related staffing shortage.  Contact Sanitation at 812-349-3443 for more information or with questions.

Including the cases reported today, 110 positive COVID-19 viral test results have been reported since the start of the pandemic by City workers, including those employed by the municipal corporations that operate the water utility (City of Bloomington Utilities), transit system (Bloomington Transit), and public housing (Bloomington Housing Authority).  Additionally, COVID-19 was listed among the causes of death of one City worker.

Data about COVID-19 cases among City employees, in the county, the state and the nation are presented at this online dashboard. Other City-related updates about the COVID-19 pandemic are assembled here.

The City of Bloomington is committed to sharing information about how its operations and workforce are affected by this public health emergency, and will continue to provide updates about confirmed cases among staff while protecting employees’ privacy.


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