City Council Considers Roll Cart Proposal

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COLUMBIA - During Mondays' Columbia City Council meeting, the council presented its proposal to switch the current trash system to use roll carts instead of pickup bags.

The pilot program, which will cost an estimated $69,232, would run February through April.

The system would use automated trucks to pick up the roll carts, and would therefore need only one driver instead of the usual driver and collector.

Calvin Drone, a refuse collector with the city for seven years, says he's concerned that he and other refuse employees could lose their jobs should the city switch to the automated trucks.

But Flavious Benson, also a collector with the city's Solid Waste Division, says the workplace injuries associated with getting in and out of the trucks wouldn't happen using automated trucks.

According to Benson, the average refuse truck will go to about 800 homes in an average day, and getting out the truck this frequently can put a physical toll on the collector.

"Jumping up and down all day is hard on your knees and on your back. Running a switch is going to be a lot easier than picking up trash."

A group of residents opposed to the idea, Citizens Opposed to Roll Carts, mailed letters to the members of the Columbia City Council calling the pilot program "ill-advised" and "highly unpopular."