EPA announces latest steps addressing Missouri landfill fire

COLUMBIA - The city council will meet Monday to finalize its decision regarding two bills to alter the city's current recyclable waste disposal system. 

The new roll cart system would prohibit residents from placing their trash curbside. Instead they would be required to place waste on movable carts modified to be emptied directly from the cart to the garbage truck without sanitation workers having to throw the bags. 

Supporters of the new system cite one of the potential benefits as an increase in sanitation worker safety while on duty. 

"On the residential collection crew, we get a lot of turned ankles, twisted knees, back strains, shoulder, elbow, different muscular groups because of the repetition of the heavy lifting requirements," Columbia Solid Waste Utility Manager Cynthia Mitchell said. 

Mitchell went on to say this change would increase worker job satisfaction and would decrease turnovers within the industry.

Though the change could improve work conditions, some residents are still opposed to changing current waste disposal practices.

The Solid Waste Advocacy Group approached the city clerk with a petition against the purchasing of the carts back in September. In mid-October the city clerk certified said petition had enough legitimate signatures, and as a result two bills regarding the roll carts will undergo council consideration.

The first bill would prohibit the use of roll carts for residential use and recycling. The other bill would give voters the opportunity to decide on the matter during the March 2016 election.

SWAG spokesperson Mary Sapp has been a Columbia resident for more than 30 years, and she was clear about her objections to the new program.

"Roll carts are ugly, they're difficult to use, and $6 million is an unnecessary expense to our taxpayers," Sapp said.

 City council meets Monday at 7 p.m. at city hall.


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