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Columbia holds last day for drive-thru trash voucher exchange

Columbia Trash
ABC17 News
Official City of Columbia trash bag.
City of Columbia Contactless Drive-Thru Voucher Redemption Event, Jan. 23, 2020, Cosmo Park, Columbia, MO
Voucher sign, Columbia's Contactless Drive-Thru Event, Jan. 23, 2020 Cosmo Park, Columbia, MO
Roll Cart petition sign, Jan. 23, 2020 Cosmo Park, Columbia, MO


The City of Columbia will wrap up its drive-thru trash bag exchange Saturday.

The voucher exchange, a contactless drive-thru for garbage bag vouchers at the Parks Management Center in Cosmo Park, kicked off on Tuesday.

The City of Columbia Utilities Services is hosting the event, which is set to be from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

All trash bags placed curbside for residential trash collection will have to be in a City-issued bag with the City logo starting Feb 1.

That guideline was approved by city council in September.

The vouchers were scheduled to be sent out to residential customers on Monday, Jan. 11.

Bags will also be available at Gerbes, Hy-Vee, Menards, Moser's, Schnucks and City Hall.

The city is hoping these guidelines will help city staff by reducing the potential for large and bulky items being placed on the curb for collection.

Curbside recycle pickup will also be reinstated on Feb. 1. The department will pickup residential curbside recycling every other week moving forward. Columbia's Solid Waste department said they're looking forward to bringing the service back because people have been throwing different items at recycle drop off sites.

"With the recycling starting up the first of February, we'll get less contamination and the drop off sites which we really like to have and make out material cleaner too.", said Paul.

The Columbia MO Citizens for Roll Carts was present at the event asking residents picking up their bags to sign their petition for the city to use roll carts. Nicholas Paul, the Recovery Superintendent said he's seen microwaves, dirty diapers, wood and styrofoam dumped at the sites frequently.

"I know that a lot of people were on the fence about roll carts and then moving to this new logo bag system just really pushed them towards wanting something different and wanting something that's going to work that's going to be safer for our workers, it's more sustainable, environmentally friendly, it won't get picked open by raccoons or crows and all that and so were seeing a really positive response.", said Rachel Proffitt, and organizer with Columbia MO Citizens for Roll Carts.

Proffitt said she traded in her voucher for bags on Wednesday and she believes this new system could be effective, but she concerned with some families who are facing hard times.

"There are a lot of people in our city that don't have the time or the resources to be able to not do curbside recycling that have multiple children or multiple family members they're caring for an they will use more than 2 bags a week and therefore they will have to go buy an extra 5 bags at 10 dollars a shot and there's some families that can't afford that so for a roll cart something like this you can put as much stuff as you can fit in there and it's able to be taken by the truck this is a much more affordable option for a lot of people in Columbia.", said Proffitt.

The organization received over 1,000 signatures at the drive thru event this week, but they say they need over 3,000 signatures to get roll carts on ballots for a community vote. Those who sign the petition must be citizens who are registered to vote in Columbia.

ABC 17-KMIZ / Columbia / Columbia City Government / Lifestyle / Top Stories
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Ben Fein

Ben Fein is a multimedia journalist for ABC 17 News. You can usually see his reports on weekend mornings or weekdays at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on KMIZ.


1 Comment

  1. The City’s new trash collection policy will offer a great opportunity for entrepreneurs: a black market for city stamped trash bags. The City will sell extra bags for $2 each. Surely, entrepreneurs can find unused trash bags and sell them for, say $1.50 each, or less. Like concert ticket scalpers, the trash bag entrepreneurs may need to sell a stick of gum or other item for whatever price and the bags are free to avoid strong arm of the law.

    It is great that City stamped trash bags will open the door to entrepreneurs. I seem to recall from American History that Stamp Acts, just like sending troops to take the people’s guns, didn’t go over so well before.

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