Columbia could change trash pickups

Jul 9, 2012

The city of Columbia could be changing the way it picks up trash next year.  The city will currently pick up trash bags left on residential street, but a new proposal would change the method to only collecting trash from bins provided to residents by the city. 

The proposal would reduce the number of trash collectors, but Columbia Solid Waste Utility Manager Richard Wieman says those positions would be transitioned to another part of waste collection.

"It is estimated that there will be four less employees working in that area, but those employees would be used in other areas. There would be no layoffs," said Wieman.

Wieman says the plan would require about $6 million to buy 10 automated side-loading trucks and 44,000 bins for the city.  Wieman says some residents are against the change because they lack the storage space for the bin and worry about how the neighborhood would look with the bins. The funding would be part of the FY 2013 budget which will come out later this month. Ashalnd implemented a similar plan in March.  Ashland Utility Clerk Wade Middaugh says Ashland residents had similar concerns about the change, but have adjusted well.

"Some people were not in favor of that idea originally. It's been in place for months now. We haven't had too many issues arise from that. Most people are fairly happy using the carts now," said Middaugh.