Downtown trash

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COLUMBIA - City leaders are working to clean up downtown, and on Tuesday night they proposed a new clean up program to do just that.

A Community Improvement District subcommittee suggested adding additional crews to focus primarily on the trash cleanup in alleys downtown.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback that people like to see the areas cleaner so I think it was an important discussion,” said Katie Essing, Executive Director for the Community Improvement District.

The proposed program would hire an additional truck and employee to clean up the litter and illegally dumped material in the alleyways downtown.

Broadway Brewery General Manager Craig Kingsley said they have a problem with trash in the alley behind his restaurant. A trash compactor and dumpster are located near the back door to the restaurant.

Kingsley said he is concerned with the amount of trash around the back door because a lot of customers enter and hang out there

“The alley is always dirty with trash. Alley A is nice and clean. We just happen to be in one of the alleys where the trash disposal is,” said Kingsley.

Kingsley said after a few days, the dumpster behind the Broadway Brewery is spilling over with trash. He said the restaurant owners have been dealing with this trash problem for awhile.

The new program would cost about $45,000 for the Solid Waste Division of Columbia. According to Columbia’s Solid Waste Utility Manager Cynthia Mitchell, the program might cause trash collection rates to increase for business owners and residents downtown.

The trash rate depends on the volume of trash as well as the type and size of the business, according to Essing. 

The Community Improvement District Board will meet on January 12 to decide whether to approve the program. The proposal would then move to the city council.