Increase in recycling at MU drives purchase of new city truck

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | 11:18 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Since October 2009, the city has collected about 545 tons of recyclables at MU — about 95 tons a month and enough to justify a city recycling truck just for campus.

The $150,000 truck will be financed by the city, MU and a grant from the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management district.

Since October 2009, the city has been picking up recyclables such as paper and beverage containers on campus, Steve Burdic, MU sustainability coordinator, said.

"A new truck would be helpful," Burdic said. "We're increasing in paper and beverage containers every month."

The city will cover half of the cost, $75,000. A grant from the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management will pay $50,000, and the university will cover the remaining $25,000.

The city has one truck that takes care of commercial recycling, and it goes to the campus three times a week. More than 95 tons of recyclables — mostly cardboard, paper and beverage containers — each month from MU soon wore down the city's pickup capacity, said Layli Terrell, waste minimization supervisor for Columbia.

"It's burdensome because the university is huge," Terrell said.

In 2009, when the city negotiated a contract with the university to continue the trash service, the university asked it to take over recycling, said Jill Stedem of the city Public Works Department.

The city is in the process of ordering the truck, Stedem said, adding that the beginning of 2011 is the earliest the truck would be in service.

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