A group that's been working to collect signatures on a petition to force another vote on whether to allow roll carts for trash collection in Columbia has scheduled a demonstration outside the Daniel Boone City Building on Monday night.
Columbia MO Citizens For Roll Carts has scheduled the protest and signature gathering event for 5:30 to 7 p.m., just before the regular meeting of the Columbia City Council. The group is protesting the city's system for trash and recycling collection and the ban on roll carts that was approved by voters in a 2016 initiative petition.
The group is planning to #stuffthekeyhole, asking anyone who wants to participate to fill personally identifiable trash bags with old clothes or blankets — not actual trash — which they plan to put underneath the "Keys to the City" sculpture in front of city hall at Broadway and Eighth Street.
Materials in any bags that aren't taken home at the end of the event will be donated to local charities.
The group will have a notary in circulation who will collect signatures for the petition, as well as materials available for making signs. Participants are asked to wear a mask and respect social distancing rules.
"If you are tired of a system which punishes workers, is too expensive and creates a disgusting mess, join us in the fight to reform Columbia's trash and recycling services," a flyer on the group's Facebook page reads.
The city enacted a "pay-as-you-throw" system of trash collection Feb. 1 that requires residents to use bags with city logos on them to dispose of trash. After suspending recycling service due to staff shortages in the summer, fall and winter, it has begun collecting recyclables on trash routes every other week.
The system gives households 104 bags a year. Those who require more must buy them for $2 each. Since the system was implemented, the city has seen an increase in illegal dumping of trash at recycling drop-off spots, in private dumpsters and elsewhere.