City working to improve apartment recycling

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COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is looking to improve its apartment recycling program. The program provides recycling containers, which are rotated to different apartment complexes throughout the week.

It provides an alternative to the city’s recycling drop-off sites.

Nick Paul, Recovery Superintendent, said there are different ways to improve the program. He recently applied for a grant for a new truck that will be used strictly for the apartment recycling program.

Paul said weather and trucks breaking down has created problems in the past. “As the trucks get older, it’s harder to take care of them,” he said. There are currently three trucks, and new trucks can help improve the program.

Another improvement includes new containers. “Hopefully in the future we will get some more containers so we can put more apartments on the apartment recycling program,” Paul said.

Paul said there are 17 containers. Three are used for rotational purposes when other containers get full.

Paul said it’s going to be hard to keep up with the growing number of apartments in the Columbia area, so the department is looking to change ordinances to keep containers at complexes full time. The program has one apartment complex with a full-time recycling container. “It works much better for them,” Paul said.

However, the time a container spends at a location can depend on the size of the complex. “It’s not one type plan fits all,” Paul said.

According to the city website, 39 apartment complexes participate in the program.

Paul said one of the reasons some apartments do not participate in the program is because of the location of the bins. “The apartment has to give up a parking place for that two or three days it’s there, and that sometimes can be an issue.”

Residents who are currently not involved in the program can speak with their landlords or managers about joining the program.

Paul said the next step for improving the program is finding and allocating funds for the new trucks and containers.