The Ins and Outs of Columbia’s Trash & Recycle System

By Angela Huhman

Moving to a new city has its challenges. As you’re unpacking boxes and navigating new streets to find the grocery store, here are a few of our city’s systems to make settling in a little easier.

New residents moving to Columbia will automatically receive a voucher within three weeks of signing up for City of Columbia utilities. The vouchers can be redeemed at most local grocery stores for blue recycling and black trash bags, complimentary. If you expected to receive a bag voucher and did not, please contact WasteZero Inc. at 1-800-866-3954.

• Columbia uses a dual-stream recycle system, which means “Fiber” (paper, cardboard, newspaper) and “Containers” (plastic No. 1 to 7, glass, aluminum) are collected separately. Containers are placed in the blue bags, while fibers need to be broken down and placed in a paper bag or box.

• Items such as demolition debris, automotive parts, hazardous materials, whole tires and felled trees cannot be collected with regular refuse. For disposal options, call 573-874-CITY(2489).

• To arrange a free pickup of oversized items, call Columbia Solid Waste or complete the online request form at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled collection day. This includes bulky items such as furniture and carpet (cut in lengths of 4 feet and in rolls not to exceed 24 inches in diameter). For more information, call 573-874-CITY(2489).

• Major appliances — washer, dryer, range, freezer, dehumidifier, stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater, air conditioner, trash compactor, conventional oven — will be picked up on your regular trash day. Call 573-874-CITY(2489) at least 24 hours before your regular trash day, or submit your request online at least 48 hours before your regular trash day. The appliance will need to be curbside by 7:30 a.m., and an additional fee will be added to your monthly utility bill.

Yard waste collection

• Leaves, grass, twigs and small branches should be placed in with your trash or any other bag (except the blue recycling bags), box or other type of disposal container and set out with the trash on your regular collection day.

• Limbs must be bundled and should not exceed 4 feet in length, 2 feet in diameter and 50 pounds per bundle.

Residential Recycling Drop-off Containers

• Residential recycling drop-off containers accept the same recyclable items that may be placed curbside.

• Please do not deposit plastic shopping bags in the drop-off containers.

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off

• Columbia residents may take their household hazardous waste products to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facility at 1313 Lakeview.

• The facility is only open on the first and third Saturdays April through November, 8 a.m. to noon.

• No hazardous products are collected curbside.

• If your paint can is empty or the paint is completely dry, you can throw it away. To dry any remaining paint, leave the lid off for a couple of days, or use kitty litter to absorb the excess paint. Then throw the can away.

Questions about solid waste or recycling? Call the City of Columbia at 573-874-CITY(2489).

Unsure of what recycling goes where or when to leave materials for curbside pickup?

Download the COMO Recycle and Trash app to see directions on how to properly dispose of certain items.

Enter your address to receive reminders the day prior to pickup, including any holiday schedule adjustments.