Jill Schlude becomes the first woman to hold the position of Columbia’s police chief, while Rachel Proffitt takes over as interim council member for the Second Ward.
Columbia City Council made significant changes during its recent meeting, swearing in Jill Schlude as the new police chief and Rachel Proffitt as the interim council member for the Second Ward. Schlude’s appointment marks a historic moment as the first woman to hold this position in the city. Additionally, the council received a report from RRT Engineering, LLC, outlining recommendations for a comprehensive overhaul of Columbia’s recycling system. These suggestions include the closure of three recycling drop-off centers, consolidation of existing drop-off spots, and investment in automated curbside recycling collection. The report also addressed the need to address the aging Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and presented options for its renovation or outsourcing.
Proposed Changes to Recycling Drop-off Centers and Collection Methods
The report presented by RRT Engineering, LLC highlighted several key recommendations for improving Columbia’s recycling system. One of the most significant proposals is the closure of three recycling drop-off centers, including two on the University of Missouri (MU) campus and one downtown. The closures aim to streamline operations and optimize resources.
The two MU campus drop-off centers, located near Bluford Hall and East Campus Road, have seen a decline in usage over the years. The recommendation to close these centers aligns with the goal of consolidating drop-off spots and reallocating resources to more accessible locations. The third suggested closure is the downtown drop-off center, situated on the south side of the Tenth and Cherry parking garage. This move aims to enhance efficiency by redirecting recycling efforts to other nearby locations.
In addition to the closures, RRT Engineering proposed the consolidation of the South Providence Road and State Farm Parkway drop-off centers. This consolidation, along with potential gating and staffing, would optimize operations and improve the overall recycling experience for residents. The report also suggested upgrading or relocating the Cosmo Park drop-off center to better serve the community’s needs.
Furthermore, the engineering firm recommended investing an additional $2.2 million in roll carts to implement automated curbside recycling collection. This move would not only increase staffing and retention but also expedite the reintroduction of curbside recycling collection in Columbia. The proposed two-week collection cycle would provide residents with a convenient and efficient way to participate in recycling efforts.
Addressing the Aging Material Recovery Facility (MRF)
RRT Engineering’s report also shed light on the state of Columbia’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF). The facility, responsible for sorting and processing recyclable materials, is nearing the end of its operational lifespan. To address this issue, the engineering firm presented four options for consideration.
The first option involves a full renovation of the current MRF. This approach would require significant investment but would allow the city to continue managing its recycling operations independently. The second option proposes the construction of a new facility, either on the current site or at an alternative location. This option offers the opportunity to design a state-of-the-art facility that meets the city’s evolving recycling needs.
Alternatively, RRT Engineering suggested outsourcing all material recovery operations to either Kansas City or St. Louis. This option would involve transporting Columbia’s recyclable materials to one of these cities for processing. While this approach may reduce the city’s operational costs, it would also result in a loss of local control over recycling processes.
Columbia City Council’s recent meeting brought about significant changes with the swearing-in of Jill Schlude as the new police chief and Rachel Proffitt as the interim council member for the Second Ward. Alongside these appointments, the council received recommendations from RRT Engineering, LLC, for a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s recycling system. The proposed changes include the closure of certain drop-off centers, consolidation of existing locations, investment in automated curbside recycling collection, and addressing the aging Material Recovery Facility. These recommendations aim to improve efficiency, accessibility, and sustainability in Columbia’s recycling efforts. As the city moves forward with implementing these changes, it will be crucial to consider the environmental impact, cost-effectiveness, and community engagement to ensure a successful transition to a more robust and sustainable recycling system.