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Columbia Solid Waste holds open house about recycling


City of Columbia Solid Waste hosted an open house Tuesday night at the Activities and Recreation Center on West Ash Street to discuss and assess the future of recycling in the Columbia area.

According to Matt Nestor, the public information specialist for the City of Columbia utilities, the city is working with RRT Design & Construction in order to figure out the best options that would make recycling more convenient and efficient.

The event allowed residents to ask city workers questions, voice any concerns, or aspects that they like about the current system, and include anything that they would like to see in regards to recycling moving forward. A survey box was also featured, which allowed residents to write down specific input for the city to read over.

"We're just trying to get a general idea of you know, what citizens think recycling should look like," Nestor said.

A popular topic at the event among residents included what can and cannot be recycled. Nestor said this is something the city may possibly reconsider this aspect of its current program as a result.

"You know, we can look at those kinds of things and see, do we need to add or take away some things that are recycled," Nestor said.

The open house format featured four discussion areas, including climate action and adaptation plans, information on organics, curbside collections and general waste reduction. People who attended the open house were able to go from table-to-table and ask questions related to each topic.

In 2020, curbside pickup for recycling in Columbia was temporarily suspended due to staffing shortages brought on by COVID-19. This allowed the city to focus on trash pickup, as this could potentially become a health hazard if not done.

In February 2021, the city reintroduced recycling pickup on a biweekly schedule. Nestor said he is aware this is something residents want changed back to weekly, and expects to receive feedback about it.

"You know, that's something -- as we go through this and study the system from collection, to separation, to sales -- we'll look at that and see how we can make it better for everyone," Nestor said.

Another meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, according to Nestor. At that meeting, RRT is expected to present the findings of its evaluation at City Hall.

In January, the city hosted two public input meetings on the city's trash collection system. The city scheduled all of the public input meetings after the City Council voted to get rid of the city's logo bag system in December.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

Nia Hinson


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