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Schedule change could take out East Campus trash problem

Sunday, April 12, 2009 | 12:01 p.m. CDT; updated 10:05 p.m. CDT, Sunday, April 12, 2009
Chad Crump of Columbia Public Works collects trash on Wednesday on Bouchelle Avenue in East Campus. Crump and his coworker, Calvin Drone, said they can service about 700 to 1,200 households over a six to seven hour day.

COLUMBIA — City staff and the City Council agree it would make a lot of sense to move East Campus trash collections from Wednesday to Monday to combat the problem of neighborhood residents — particularly college students — putting their trash out early.

The council left the decision up to city staff. If the change is made, it wouldn’t happen before August, City Manager Bill Watkins said.

“There will have to be a whole communications plan developed” to inform those affected by any changes, Watkins said. Strategies could include door hangers, mailed notices and other media efforts.

The problem of weekend trash being set out at the curb and remaining for days has long been a challenge in East Campus. In response to a suggestion from Second Ward Councilman Chris Janku, Watkins proposed the switch to Monday collections at the council’s meeting Monday.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said the move “sounds like a good idea to me, but maybe we should put it on the agenda and get some public opinion.”

The city divides its collection routes among weekdays and picks up trash from an average of 6,376 homes or apartments per day. Wednesday’s collection is largest with 7,423 residential units; Monday’s is smallest with 5,699. The proposed switch would help balance those differences.

Adding East Campus to the Monday collection would add 517 residential units to the collection schedule. Because full routes average nearly 820 residential units, Public Works Director John Glascock said in a report to the council that the city could also add the Grasslands neighborhood to the Monday collection.

Glascock said the switch would cost little or no money.

Watkins said it’s uncertain whether the change will happen, but he wanted to bounce it off the council.

“We’re not going to go so far as to make that kind of change without at least letting the council have a say,” Watkins said.


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