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The original item was published from 9/22/2017 10:16:37 AM to 10/1/2017 12:00:07 AM.

News Flash

City Administrator

Posted on: September 22, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Under the Clock Tower: August, 2017

Recently, the City’s waste management vendor, Columbia County Solid Waste has been appearing at City Council meetings to talk about their experiences collecting trash and recycling for Columbus since the beginning of the year. I think that overall, things have been going well with them, with the Spring Cleanup in May being a highlight.

A question they have raised is the timing of implementing an automated collection system. The concept of using automated carts for waste collection has been hovering over the City for a couple of years during the transitions to the different vendors that we have used since Badger Disposal decided to retire. An automated cart system utilizes both a garbage and a recycling cart for each customer and allows for trucks to automatically pick up the full carts and dump its contents in their trucks using a mechanical arm.

Columbia County Solid Waste runs an efficient and effective automated collection system in several other of our neighboring communities, and this week, the Columbus City Council supported moving to the implementation stage for Columbus.

I have mentioned this possibility in previous Under the Clock Tower columns and the topic has been discussed at numerous Council meetings. Based off of the contacts I have received from members of the community, I know some out there are really concerned about moving to the automated system. But recently, it seems there are more and more out there who are supportive of this approach, citing good experiences they have had with the system in other communities with automated collection and just feeling that this is a good way for Columbus to go like many of our neighbors.

While the details are being confirmed, the basics of an automated collection system include the distribution to each residential, or current customer unit with two 96-gallon carts. After a trial period, if a customer feels the 96-gallon carts are too big, they will have an opportunity to downsize to a 65-gallon cart. The 65-gallon cart has the same footprint as the 96-gallon, but it is a bit shorter and less “fat” at the top. Trash and recycling will still be collected weekly, and the schedule for pickups will remain the same. If Columbia County currently comes to your house on Monday, it will still come on Monday.

At this time, the actual move to the carts is expected to take place this October. Knowing that this will generate questions and concerns, the City will be utilizing a number of ways to educate the community on how the system will work, starting with this column. If you would like to see what a cart really looks like, examples are currently at City Hall, and we expect to place more in other public places like the Public Works Building, Columbus Water & Light and the Police Department. A public information meeting is also being planned in September to explain the transition process. Please keep an eye on the Columbus Journal, the City website and social media outlets for information on that meeting.

If you have any questions on this or any other issue before city government, please contact me down at City Hall at 623-5900 or via email at pvandersanden@columbuswi.us.

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