After being in operation for over 20 years, Columbia’s Material Recovery Facility is in need of some major changes. In October 2022, the city’s MRF exceeded its recycling capacity. Columbia suspended curbside recycling collection in May 2023 because of staffing shortages. It resumed in March with a 21-person crew, but space in the MRF is still limited “They’re running smoothly, I know that,” said Matt Nestor, public information specialist for Columbia Utilities. “… But as you can see, it’s a pretty tight space (at MRF).”

Within the past few years, recycling participation has increased in Columbia. “We have a lot of interest in recycling around Columbia,” Nestor said. “And it’s something that city of Columbia utilities and the city itself are very interested in promoting and expanding.”

Expanding the recycling program will be beneficial to meeting Columbia’s needs, Nestor said. “We’re building another facility that we’ll be able to incorporate a lot more and expand all of our recycling production,” Nestor said.

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Author: Leah Rainwater, KOMU 8
Image: KOMU 8