Columbus to increase frequency of trash collection from 300-gallon alley bins
Columbus residents who use shared, 300-gallon trash containers in alleyways to dispose of their trash may see their bin emptied more frequently when the city adds more refuse trucks to the pickup rotation using capital improvement funds.
The 300-gallon containers are more than three times the size of the more common 90-gallon containers residents roll to their curb once a week.
The larger bins stay in the alleyway in areas of the city like the Hilltop and are used by multiple residents.
The containers often fill up fast, leading to spillover and litter in the surrounding alley.
Advocates in the Hilltop area say the problem attracts crime and reduces the quality of life in the area. The containers are also unsightly and emit foul odors.
The Columbus Director of Public Service Jennifer Gallagher said the city’s proposed capital improvement budget will help with the issue.
More refuse collection vehicles will allow the bins to be emptied more frequently, she said. The proposed budget includes $125 million for the department, with $9 million dedicated to additional vehicles.
“We may not be able to fully empty them, but [to] at least try to keep them from overflowing is our goal. We can do that once we get more equipment in,” Gallagher said. “So that is something that we're working on, to at least try to get them topped off, [and] get to a point where we can double dump them is our goal, and do that twice a week.”
Gallagher said the additional vehicles will help with illegal dumping and enable the city to clean up the alleys “more often.”
Though the city in 2018 made efforts to begin replacing the larger bins, the process didn’t replace them all. Officials that year said the larger bins attracted illegal dumpers and gave cover to other crimes.
At the time, Hilltop activist Lisa Boggs said the overflowing trash gives the neighborhood a bad image that “no one cares.”
Capital improvement dollars are expected to fund other improvements by the department. Gallagher said $30 million will go toward neighborhood road resurfacing. About $2 million will go toward improvements to Hudson Street from Interstate 71 to Cleveland Avenue, to rebuild the roadway, add a shared-use path and improve the sidewalks. Another $2 million will be set aside to plan improvements to Livingston Avenue.
“We also have another $5 million for our Vision Zero implementation. And basically what that money will go to will be safety improvements and initiatives across the entire city. So that could be smaller projects, such as crosswalk installations, it could be smaller intersection improvements, it could be some studies to determine then some of those larger improvements,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher said this year’s budget will help the department make meaningful, quality of life improvements.
“I think this budget really allows us to get into the neighborhoods. We have quite a few sidewalk projects in this year's budget. We have quite a few bicycle projects we really tried to focus on intersection safety, roadway safety, Vision Zero-type projects,” she said. “So, we're really excited about this budget. We are excited about the size of the budget, the types of projects we have, and we think the residents will be too.”
People can visit the city's Capital and Debt Management web page to determine where their neighborhood lands in the city’s capital planning areas or find more information about the proposed budget.
South Columbus improvement projects will be discussed at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Family Missionary Baptist Church, 996 Oakwood Ave.
East Columbus improvement projects will be addressed at 5:30 PM Thursday at Far East Community Center, 1826 Lattimer Drive.
Projects on the north and south sides of the city were discussed earlier this week. Those discussions are available to watch on the city's youtube page.