A proposed roll cart trash collection system is set to be voted on by Columbia’s city council tonight.
Mayor Barbara Buffaloe has said that trash was the biggest issue she heard about as she campaigned door-to-door last spring.
Columbia officials envision the roll cart trash system becoming effective in March 2024, if the city council approves the changes. Under the proposed ordinance, all residential curbside customers would receive a trash roll cart. You’ll be able to choose a 35-gallon, 65-gallon or 95-gallon cart. The 35-gallon cart would be $12.87 per month, while the 65-gallon cart would be $17.37 per month. A 95-gallon cart would be $22.50 per month.
City officials say the purchase of roll carts and the lease of vehicles will cost the city about $3-million. City manager De’Carlon Seewood says the money is available in this year’s budget. He’s recommending approval of the ordinance.
The perennial roll cart issue has divided residents for more than a decade. 892 Columbia residents took a recent survey. While more than two-thirds of them are open to the idea of changing from bags to bins, opponents argue roll carts are awkward, clumsy and roll away.
If the council approves the proposal tonight, Columbia residents would begin using roll carts for their trash in one year. Under the bill, carts could be placed at the curb or alley no earlier than 4 pm on the day preceding collection and no later than 6:30 am on collection day. They would have to be removed from the curb by 10 pm on collection day.
Critics include some senior citizens, who say the carts are difficult to move. Other critics say raccoons and other animals will get inside the carts.
The council’s packet says if the council approves the project, the city will hire an education and communications consultant to implement an educational program to inform and educate customers on the roll cart changes. 939 the Eagle News asked Columbia spokeswoman Sydney Olsen if the city has an approximate cost for how much the consultant will cost. Olsen says the city doesn’t have one yet, but notes there will be an RFP (a request for proposal) issued.
Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 at city hall.