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Merchants frustrated with mounting trash problem

Downtown Columbia merchants between 9th and 8th street on Broadway are frustrated with a mounting trash problem in the alley behind their businesses. They said ever since the city removed the compactor, garbage and boxes have been piling up, leaving the area messy and stinky.

City officials said they removed the compactor because a nearby building owner said city sanitation trucks were damaging his property when crews emptied it.

The city said there’s no solution to the issue yet, but in the meantime, businesses need to try and keep it picked up.

“We really do need the merchants to put the material in the containers even though they’re not in that block. There are other areas they can go to-at least for the interim period. We’re confident we’ll get something worked out. We just don’t have a definite time frame for it right now, but we are working on it,” said Steve Sapp with Columbia Public Works.

Nearby businesses said the alley will never look any better unless the city gets the compactor back into the alley.

City administrators met Monday to come up with a solution, saying their goal is to get the compactor back into the alley. They said they’re looking for the best way to do it.

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