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Let’s Talk Trash… and Recycling!

Did you know… that you can get trash and recycling bags for free through the City of Columbia’s voucher system?

Vouchers are mailed out to residents every April, August, and December. Didn’t receive your vouchers? Contact WasteZero, Inc. at 800-866-3954 or online at to request vouchers in the mail. Vouchers can then be redeemed for trash and recycling bags at most grocery stores in town, including Gerbes Supermarkets, Hy-Vee, Schnuck’s Supermarket, Moser’s Discount Foods, Patricia’s IGA, Westlake Ace Hardware, and Menard’s.

How it works

Curbside trash, recycling, and yard waste pickup begins at 7:30 a.m. most weekdays. It is a violation of City Ordinance to place trash at the curb prior to 4:00 p.m. the night before your trash pickup day.

When is your trash day?

You can visit the Public Works Department – Solid Waste Division at to find a map of trash and recycling collection days.

All trash should be secured in disposable bags (like the free ones you got with your voucher!) or bundles, not exceeding 50 pounds. Columbia does NOT currently use a city-wide can system, so bags should be removed from trashcans and placed on the curb for collection. No can (plastic or metal containers) will be emptied by trash collectors.

Please be mindful of sharp or dangerous items in your trash. Each year several Public Works employees are injured by broken glass, needles, and other items. Please wrap these items carefully, or place them in a puncture-resistant container before placing them in your trash bag. You could even leave a note on the bag to help prevent injury.

Blue (comingled) recycling bags are used to collect only the following items: Glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, metal food cans, #1-#7 plastic containers. Columbia is able to recycle #1-#7 plastics at this time. Recycling bags should also be limited to 50 pounds and placed out alongside your trash bags on your appropriate trash day, or dropped off at a recycling drop-off center.

Fiber materials (corrugated cardboard, chipboard, boxboard, paper, newspaper, magazines, phone books, etc.) can also be recycled by placing them curbside in a cardboard box or paper bag, next to trash bags and blue recycling bags, or by dropping them in a recycling drop-off center. Locations for these centers can be found at the GoColumbiaMO website. Everyone who has their trash and recycling collected by Public Works, be it curbside or in an on-site dumpster, is charged for trash collection. You can see this charge on your monthly utilities bill from the city.

Did that dryer finally dry its last load?

You can arrange pickup of oversized items by contacting the Solid Waste Department at 573-874-6291 or by filling out an online request form at the GoColumbiaMO website.


Some items deemed hazardous to the environment cannot be collected with regular trash. Many of these items may even be common household items, like motor oil or antifreeze containers, caulk, pesticides, paint, batteries, medications and some household cleaners. Learn how you can properly dispose of these items, and see a complete list, by visiting and searching for “Household Hazardous Waste Collection”.

Need assistance?

Physically challenged customers may arrange for special pickup at no additional cost. Customers in need of such assistance must submit a letter from a physician explaining their circumstances.
Following these simple rules can help you avoid receiving fines of $50 or higher.

This information, and more, can be found online at