TARGET 8: Columbia’s trash pickup costs slightly more than nearby cities using private companies | Target 8
COLOMBIA – In February Columbia changed its garbage service to a “Pay as You Throw” program. Now residents have to use garbage bags issued by the city.
City-issued bags are not new to Columbia. For years the city issued 50 bags a year, but their use was not mandatory. Now they are needed.
Each resident receives 104 33-gallon bags, an average of two bags a week per year.
Some residents are frustrated. Ednita Brown, who lives in Colombia, told KOMU 8 News that she wished the city would listen to her concerns.
“I really feel like it’s payment for our mismanagement program,” said Brown.
Brown lives with her husband, parents, and two children, so they have a lot of garbage.
“I’m really disappointed because I feel like Columbia is trying to sell it as a ‘Pay as You Throw’ program. But if that were the case, people with just one trash would have a lower electricity bill, ”Brown said.
Steve Hunt, the city’s solid waste division manager, told KOMU 8 News that the city is not generating any real revenue from the new program.
“I know people can be unhappy, or there are people who are sometimes unhappy with the service we get or the service we offer as a city. But we do it at cost,” said Hunt.
Residents have raised concerns on Facebook and other social media platforms about the illegal dumping of more people, shops running out of required trash bags, and bag ripping.
Colombia’s garbage service stands out among the surrounding cities because it is publicly funded.
“Colombia’s philosophy is to be a full-service city,” said Hunt.
Surrounding cities such as Ashland, Moberly and Jefferson City use private contract services.
Goal 8 compared garbage and recycling figures for monthly individual / residential household rates.
- Columbia charges $ 17.37 monthly for 66 gallon bags per week
- Jefferson City charges $ 16.98 per month for 65 gallon trolleys
- Moberly charges $ 16.67 monthly for 65 gallon trolleys
- Ashland charges $ 12.11 monthly and uses a set amount of 95 gallon trolleys, but residents must drop off recycling
Most mid-Missouri towns and cities range from 35 to 95 gallons.
Jefferson City and Ashland both have contracts with Republic Waste Services. Moberly has a contract with Waste Management.
KOMU 8 reached out to Republic Waste Services and asked which cities it normally provides services to.
“Republic Services provides recycling and waste disposal services to more than 2,400 cities and towns across the country. Republic works with communities of all sizes and has partnerships with many major metropolitan areas,” a republic press release said.
“We have a great partnership with Ashland and a successful service delivery plan that is unique to the community. It is important to realize that every city is different and has different service needs. The current Ashland contract is structured to collect solid waste That can be at $ 12.11 per household per month, “said Republic.
The cities’ contracts with Republic Waste Services and Waste Management provide for price increases for each year. Most are around 3%.
“If you have a private company, they won’t do it for cost reasons. They’re going to do it to make money, ”said Hunt.
Brown says she hopes the city will take into account what citizens say.
“I just hope they’ve listened to their citizens more than anything, you know, really consider their citizens and look at the demographics of the city and find that this doesn’t work,” Brown said.