Columbia Discusses Sustainability

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COLUMBIA - City manager Mike Matthes and sustainability manager Barbara Buffaloe attended a meeting Tuesday night to inform Columbians about the future of sustainability in the city.

The meeting, called "Planning Columbia's Future Energy Needs" was hosted by the Boone County League of Women Voters at the Columbia Public Library and every seat in the house was taken. Matthes spoke on the year old Office Of Sustainability and the small moves its making to save big money. Buffaloe said her office has already saved enough money to continue operating after its grant money runs out in two years.

The city has saved a lot of money by looking at ways to conserve energy in offices across Columbia. It has replaced lightbulbs, turned off computers and lights during closed hours, and updated heating and cooling systems in buildings. It also plans to look into using more renewable energy at the city's power plant.

Residents expressed concern over current sustainability programs, including the recyling program, the bike trails, and the transist system.

Officials said they hope to expand Columbia's recycling system by implementing wheeled bins over the current bag system. They said the change could tentatively increase recycling levels four fold.