LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Let's say no to roll carts

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | 4:09 p.m. CDT

Roll carts again?!!!

They are not good for a lot of us. Your council was asked to come by our area in the 4400 block of St. Charles Road about a year ago.

I would like to show you six to eight driveways where there is no place to sit a cart, or there are health reasons not to use them.

Mike Matthes: I think you should go back to where you came from and let Zim Schwartze sit at your desk. The town would be better off.

Council: Please call me to make an appointment. Call Woody at 573-864-5085.

I hope Zim gets everything she's asking for.

Clarence "Woody" Woodard lives in Columbia.

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Ellis Smith April 29, 2014 | 5:37 p.m.

Mr. Woodard has pointed out the problem with universal use of roll carts: how to store the carts and then display them (when it's time for the collection of their contents).

Des Moines and its suburbs (suburbs range from ~10,000 to ~80,000 population each) extensively uses the roll cart system to good advantage; however, this system works best if at all only when there's room to store individual carts on days other than pickup day AND how and where to set them out for pick up. For residential neighborhoods where there are individual dwellings, spaced side by side with some minimal distance between them (as we have here in Ankeny, Iowa, population ~50,000) this is a workable situation, assuming home owners have room or can make room for the carts during the time when they are not placed out for trash collection.

Obviously, new housing developments can be designed to make those situations workable, but what about older neighborhoods, and particularly WHAT ABOUT HIGH DENSITY MULTIPLE STORY HOUSING? Where do you keep the carts? Where do you put them out on trash pickup day?

I propose those "pushing"* for use of carts in Columbia perform this experiment: Go to Park de Ville Place condos, off West Worley, with the number of carts needed to service that complex, and SHOW us how you'd manage cart storage and trash pick up. This is NOT the toughest situation you could find, but if you can show others how it could be handled, maybe Columbians should take your proposal seriously. LOTS OF LUCK WITH YOUR DEMONSTRATION. You will need it.

At the location I've cited, half the residents live on the SECOND FLOOR of the buildings. Where would THOSE carts be placed for storage?

Here, we are required to have at least TWO carts per home, apartment or condo where the cart system is being used, due to a requirement for trash separation; some suburbs require THREE carts. Lots of luck with that for high density housing! There also is and needs to be a service to retrieve and replace damaged carts (our service here is very prompt).

A workable alternative is to employ carts in residential suburbs and continue using bags in high density housing areas, but you're dealing with TWO separate systems.

I'll end this with a bit of humor. As you might expect for a metro area now pushing half a million residents, we also have a number of contract refuse haulers. One of these is named "Artistic Disposal;" it has been active almost as long as I am old. :)

*- Yes, the play on words is definitely deliberate.

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