COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council voted unanimously Monday night to implement roll carts for trash collection. The ordinance is set to go into effect on March 4, 2024.
The city will use the time before the new rules go into place to lease and eventually buy new garbage trucks designed to work with the new roll carts. This new system will not affect recycling collection in the city.
Under the new system, residents can choose from three different roll cart sizes:
- 35 gallon would cost $12.87 per month
- 65 gallon would cost $17.37 per month
- 95 gallon would cost $22.50 per month
The roll carts will be city property, meaning the city can remove them when the city disconnects a property from utilities. Residents with a 95 gallon cart who need more capacity will be able to request an additional 95 gallon roll cart for $13.50 more per month.
Under the new rules residents would need to place roll carts on their curb no earlier than 4 p.m. the day before collection and no later than 6:30 a.m. on collection day. Customers would need to remove carts no later than 10 p.m. on collection day. The city says trash placed on or near roll carts will not be collected.
The city will offer a service to transport roll carts to the curb for physically disabled customers who cannot do so themselves at no additional cost. Residents hoping to use this service will need a certification from their doctor stating they are unable to do so. Some members of the public suggested lowering prices for people with disabilities in addition to this program would benefit those affected.
The council was met with a lively public comment session on the topic. One resident expressed his indifference to the outcome as long as the vote settled the question on roll carts.
"I am here with hope. I hope that we're near the end of a very long journey," one commenter said. "We got a lot of big fish to fry. We got poverty issues...We got street and infrastructure issues. We need to make a decision and move on."
Another commenter pushed back on the city council's move to overturn a vote five years ago that put a hold on discussions surrounding roll carts until last year. He also criticized the council's move to cancel a public vote on the issue last year.
"That's a betrayal of your role," he said. "Instead of putting it back on the ballot, you presume to defy, defeat and disregard the will of the people you're supposed to be representing by repealing what they had passed just a few years earlier. That's impossible to defend."