New Columbia Utility Service Would Collect Food and Yard Waste

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will vote Monday to on a proposal to create a new utility service to collect food waste.

If approved, the city would work with the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management Division to collect food waste along its normal trash routes and use the waste as compost. According to the Solid Waste Division's website, the service is designed to reduce the amount of food waste in landfills and to help enrich planting soil. 

The city applied for a grant with the Solid Waste Division in June. The grant calls for the purchase of a food collection truck, paid for with $53,500 of grant money from the Division and $35,000 in city funds. According to the grant document, the city hopes to collect 300 tons of food waste. The waste would be taken to the composting facility on Peabody Road, and two mulch sites in Capen Park and Cosmo Park. The program would last until March 31, 2015.

Compost is decomposed food and yard material, used in planting soil and mulch. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says foods like fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags make good material, and yard waste like grass clippings, leaves and wood chips also work. The compost facility in Columbia sells the compost for $12 per cubic yard. 

The City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Columbia City Hall.