An ordinance introduced at Columbia City Council meeting would implement City Manager John Glascock’s budget proposal to end residential curbside recycling. The ordinance would also eliminate the decades-old system where the city provides heavy-duty refuse and recycling bags for residential use as part of utility services, regardless of the outcome of a vote on roll carts. “The current ordinance says we can modify the schedule for pick up but it doesn’t say we can just flat-out eliminate it,” Glascock said after the meeting about the residential recycling program established in the 1990s. “We have to bring an ordinance that says we’ve got to eliminate it because we can no longer do it, we don’t have the staff.”
The council could, if it wished to do so, vote to repeal the prohibitions on roll cart trash and recycling bins and the purchase of trucks capable of automated collections enacted when voters in March 2016 approved an ordinance submitted by initiative petition. Instead, it will vote Aug. 17 on an ordinance introduced Monday night to put the issue before voters on Nov. 3. The council voted 4-3 on July 20 to instruct staff to write the ordinance needed to put the issue before voters. The vote Aug. 17 will be to actually submit the item for the election.
The placement of the issue before voters in November, when they will also be voting for federal, state and local partisan offices as well as several statewide ballot issues, is not certain. “I hope this gets on the ballot for November, but if not I hope it gets on the ballot as soon as possible after that,” Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas said after the meeting.