With garbage collection cut short during the Christmas holiday, crews faced seasonal highs for collection on Monday and Tuesday, city officials said.
“Traditionally, the day after Christmas is normally the biggest day of the year,” said Gary Stickles, director of the Columbus Department of Public Services.
Stickles said crews picked up 625 tons of garbage on Monday — almost twice as much as an average day — and were expected to dispose of more on Tuesday. Most of the waste was generated from missed pickups on Thursday and Friday due to the Christmas holidays.
The higher volume was about the same as last year with plenty of wrapping paper and boxes from gift items. It had been a week since some 55,000 households had garbage pickup.
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Made up of Muscogee County Prison inmates and city employees, the garbage collection crews worked past 7 p.m. Monday to make sure all the routes were cleared of waste. Officials hope to get the other households picked up Tuesday.
“It depends on how bad it is,” Stickles said.
To help speed up the collection process, Stickles said some trucks normally used for picking up yard waste were pressed into action to collect solid waste.
Ron Smith, deputy director of Public Services, was hopeful crews would get all neighborhoods served. Preparing for the bigger volume of trash, officials placed portable lights at the sanitary landfill off Schatulga Road to properly dispose of garbage as trucks roll in after dark. “We are going to get the garbage up regardless,” Smith said.
Some of the yard waste collections may be delayed until today, Smith said. “Yard waste is not a hazard,” he said.
Although the city offers curbside collection for glass, newspaper and metal cans, Smith said Columbus residents are encouraged to drop off bulky cardboard and other recyclable items at its recycling center at 25 22nd Ave. Located behind the Victory Drive Summit gas station, the center has bins available 24 hours a day.
Some bins are emptied twice a day to help keep items out of the landfill.
If your garbage collection day is Friday, Smith said there won’t be any pickup on New Year’s Day.