- Springfield, MO is planning to hire Kansas City-based consultant Burns & McDonnell to conduct a study that assesses current waste systems and the potential for consolidating services, according to the News-Leader.
- In addition to the goal of reducing truck traffic, the study will also explore new programs for curbside recycling, large item curbside pickup, yard waste pickup and neighborhood cleanups. Residents, local haulers and city officials will be consulted in the process.
- The Springfield City Council is expected to review the bill in October or November. This study is set to cost approximately $109,500.
Springfield is the third-largest city in Missouri and currently has an open market system. The city runs a landfill, recycling centers and collection centers for household hazardous waste and yard waste. Residents can hire one of more than a dozen companies for collection, and while recycling is required by city ordinance, it often has an additional cost.
Some local residents have complained about the truck traffic created by this multitude of haulers, while others say they prefer having options. The city is interested in the potential to reduce emissions, noise and road wear by having less trucks out collecting every day. However, switching over to a system with specific collection zones or citywide contracts for a limited number of haulers can be a contentious process.
Some cities such as La Cañada Flintridge, CA have held out for open market systems, while others such as St. Paul, MN have funded studies to pursue the idea of a zoning system. As seen in New York — where the idea has been floated for commercial collections — this can have big implications for haulers and is often met with pushback. The details of setting up a system for residential collections in a smaller city such as Springfield would be different, though the politics could easily become the same.