City’s Stormwater Facebook Post Raises Concerns Over Garden Waste Disposal | Local
The City of Columbia is asking residents to monitor stormwater inlets near their homes to ensure they are free of leaves and other debris, a Columbia Sewer & Stormwater Facebook post said.
Some residents took advantage of the posting to respond with complaints, citing that it is the city’s duty to maintain and, if the proper infrastructure was in place, residents would not have to pay attention.
The COMO Safe Water Coalition was a group that spoke out on the Facebook post.
“When you take away residents of reasonable means of disposing of yard waste and don’t commit to a sustainable option that other cities are using, such as curbside leaf removal, ask citizens to remove the waste. leaves and debris from these entrances is both insulting and out of touch with reality. “said the COMO Safe Water Coalition.
Founders Julie Ryan and Marie Thiffault formed the coalition in 2016 over concerns about how Columbia’s drinking water is disinfected.
“Citizens are expected to use the bags given to them for yard waste, pay for the bags or bring their yard waste to a location for disposal; not all of these options are reasonable or achievable for everyone, ”Ryan said in an email.
In some areas, residents have raked leaves and yard waste on streets where they can block storm water inlets.
Katie Brown Kane, a resident of east Columbia, has always raked her leaves on tarps and thrown them elsewhere. She said that sometimes the amount of leaves exceeded ten full tarpaulins.
Now that she is unable to pick up the leaves on her own, she has hired a company to do the job.
The only issue Kane has faced over the years has been the drain at the front of her house, which is filling with leaves but also draining runoff from two other homes, she said. If they don’t keep it out of the way, it can flood and freeze the road in winter.
Otherwise, Kane hasn’t had any issues with the changes to the city’s yard waste collection, and his neighborhood is more than willing to work to keep their gardens clean.
“If something needs to be done, we do it,” Kane said.
Columbia City Council members had previously discussed the issue of yard waste management but made no changes to the new procedures implemented this year. Residents are required to put garden waste in bags provided by the city, otherwise it will not be collected.
“Improper disposal of yard waste through storm sewers can also cause problems for residents,” said Matt Nestor, public information specialist for the City of Columbia Department of Utilities. “When leaves, grass clippings and twigs enter the storm drain, they can clump together with other debris and block inlets or pipes.”