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City of Columbia considers solutions to collecting yard waste as fall arrives

City of Columbia considers solutions to collecting yard waste as fall arrives


Fall started Wednesday, meaning trees will soon begin dropping leaves all over Mid-Missouri.

The Columbia City Council addressed the change in seasons Monday, searching for a solution to disposing leaves under the city's new trash program.

With the city using a "pay as you throw" program, Ward 1 Councilwoman Pat Fowler cited some resident concerns over using these bags for yard waste.

Ward 5 Councilman Matt Pitzer also shared concerns.

"You could wind up with some weeks here in the fall, where you have a lot of bags of leaves or whatever yard waste or cleaning up," Pitzer said. "Then you might wind up having people that aren't cleaning up the yard or, you know, getting rid of their leaves dumping their leaves in the street or dumping in their neighbor's yard."

City guidelines say all trash placed on the curb for collection must be in city-provided trash bags with a City of Columbia logo. Materials not placed in official city bags will not be picked up.

That could leave people who have a lot of yard waste to have to buy multiple bags for the change to fall. The city provides 104 bags per year -- equaling two each week -- but residents can purchase additional bags in rolls of five for $10. The fee covers extra costs, including the landfill disposal fee, employee salaries and vehicle maintenance.

However, yard waste can also be taken to drop-off centers.

The city moved to the pay-as-you-throw system earlier this year as a way to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills and to limit on-the-job trash collector injuries. The city has long struggled to maintain appropriate staffing levels in its trash and recycling pickup operations. Officials have cited pay and the possibility of injuries as causes.

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Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto anchors the weekend morning and weekday 9 a.m. & noon newscasts for ABC 17. You can find up-to-the-minute information on Zach’s social media, @ABC17Zach on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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