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Solid Waste Collection Cost of Service and Rate Recommendation

City of Columbia | Columbia, MO | Completed: 2015

The City of Columbia owns and operates a vertically integrated solid waste management system that includes a bioreactor landfill, dual stream material recovery facility and compost center, as well as both residential, commercial and roll-off collection services. By ordinance, the City is responsible for collection of wastes and recyclables from all residential properties and from commercial entities that generate food wastes. The City funds its solid waste system through a combination of tip fees at the landfill plus user fees charged to residential and commercial accounts.

The City last updated its rates in 2008. In 2014, the City retained MSW Consultants to perform a cost of service and rates study, and to benchmark the service levels and costs of its system against nine peer cities in the Midwest and Southeast. The project also included a series of route audits and observations to measure collection productivity and understand customer set-out behaviors.  MSW Consultants is currently managing a financial subcontractor in the development of a dynamic rate model for ongoing use by the City.