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Columbia Solid Waste Division considering changes amid ongoing staffing shortage

Refuse Collectors
City of Columbia
Columbia Refuse Collectors Shortage


The Columbia Solid Waste Division is considering changes to the way it picks up refuse, as the city struggles to fill collector vacancies.

According to a presentation attached to the Columbia City Council work-session agenda, there are still 12 vacancies in refuse collector positions.

The shortage of refuse collectors has been an ongoing issue for the city, and was factored into the the 2020 budget discussion earlier last year.

Right now, there are 14 staff available with the license required for curbside collection. The city says 13 drivers are required each day.

Another issue mentioned is staff injuries, which also reduce the amount of staff available.

According to the presentation, routes are divided or supervisors have to driver the routes when there are less than 13 drivers. If there are 10 or fewer drivers, the division sometimes has to cancel recycling pickup

The presentation says because of this ongoing staffing issue, "it appears cancellation will be necessary more frequently in the future."

The division is considering the following changes to service:

  • Staff will not pick up items that are not in bags or bundles
  • Placing a limit on the number of bags and bundles that can be collected every week
  • Eliminate special pickup and require use of containers when excessive amounts of waste needs to be picked up
  • Require special pickup to be scheduled and create an extra charge.

ABC17 News has reached out to the members of the Columbia City Council for a comment. Councilman Karl Skala said these are proposed changes from the solid waste division, and they will just be discussed and no action will be taken.

Council will talk about the considered changes at their work session Monday before their regular meeting.

Columbia / Columbia City Government / Politics / Top Stories / Top Stories

Connor Hirsch

Connor Hirsch reports for the weekday night shows, as well as Sunday nights.


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