COLUMBIA — Old Fire Station No. 7 hasn't seen any action for a long time now.
The vacant building at 3601 S. Providence Road was declared unfit by city staff in July 2004; a replacement fire station was built in 2009, at Green Meadows and Bethel roads.
Now the solid waste division of the Columbia Public Works Department is proposing that the old station be demolished and a recycling drop-off center be built there.
A recycling center takes around 10,000-square-feet of space, and there are a number of different ways it could be laid out.
"There is no definite concept of what the area will look like," solid waste utility manager Cynthia Mitchell said.
Layli Terrill, waste minimization supervisor for the Columbia Public Works Department, said that the recycling center will be similar to the center at Grindstone, near State Farm Parkway. This center consists of a fenced-off space similar to a parking lot with bins for recyclables.
She said the old fire station's location is suitable because southern Columbia is growing rapidly; the southernmost recycling center is the Grindstone location.
Terrill said that there is a need for more recycling centers in northern Columbia and that the city is looking to expand there as well.
Terrill said the city is looking for sites that are convenient for the public.
"We're trying to encourage everyone to recycle by providing the opportunity to make it easier," she said.
A city council report said the estimated cost to complete the project is $50,000, which will be funded through Solid Waste Operations.
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