Curbside Recycling & Trash Collection

Changes to residential collection

NOTE: Beginning Feb. 1, 2021, all trash placed on the curb for collection must be in City-provided trash bags with a City of Columbia logo. Customers will receive vouchers in mid-January (two for trash bags, two for recycling) and June (two for trash bags, one for recycling). Vouchers are sent to the service address regardless of who is paying for the utilities.

There is no limit to the number of bags placed curbside for pickup, as long as they are the City-issued bags with the City logo.

Vouchers can be redeemed at City Hall, Gerbes, Hy-Vee, Menards, Moser’s and Schnucks.

If needed, residents can purchase additional bags in rolls of five for $10. The charge for the additional bags acts as a usage fee where customers throwing away more garbage will pay a higher rate. The $2-per-bag fee will cover extra costs, including the landfill disposal fee, employee salaries and vehicle maintenance.

Customers new to the City will receive a “starter pack” of six official City logo refuse bags and two blue recycling bags when they set up new services at UCS.  If the customer signs up in person, UCS will provides the starter pack at that time. If the customer signs up online, UCS will mail the starter pack to the customer. The new customers will then receive vouchers via mail within two weeks.

For more information, visit the City’s FAQ page.

NOTE: Beginning Feb. 1, 2021, the City of Columbia will resume residential curbside recycling on a modified schedule. Recycling will be picked up every other week on the customers’ regularly scheduled refuse pickup day. Customers will receive a mailer to confirm their recycling schedule. View the press release for more information or download the CoMo Recycle and Trash app to receive reminders about the schedule. 

Visit our Recycling Routes map to learn your new recycling curbside pickup schedule. Type your address into the field to see which route your neighborhood is on and a calendar.

Trash Collection

Here’s how it works

  • Materials must be at the curb by 7 a.m., except during the summer (Memorial Day – Labor Day), when collection will begin at 6:30 a.m. Residents may put bags out as early as 4 p.m. on the day before your scheduled collection. 
  • Materials not placed in bags will no longer be picked up.
  • Make sure that the bag weighs less than 50 pounds.
  • For bulky items, please schedule a pick up one week in advance.

Residential Recycling

Residents will continue to receive vouchers for recycling bags. If more blue recycling bags are needed, Columbia residents may request additional vouchers at no cost.  

(Download the Residential Recycling Brochureopens PDF file )


Yard Waste Collection:

You can place yard waste on the street curb during your regular collection day (beginning February 1, 2021, use only the City of Columbia logoed trash bags). Yard waste can be used in the City’s Bioreactor Landfill to accelerate the decomposition and stabilization of waste. Methane gas (among others) are collected from the landfill to generate electricity at the City’s Bioenergy Plant.


Place leaves, grass, twigs and any small pieces of branches that will fit in any bag (except blue recycling bags) – no boxes or other containers, not to exceed 50 pounds. (Beginning February 1, 2021, a City of Columbia logoed bag ONLY must be used for pickup; items that cannot be bagged must be taken to a  opens in a new windowresidential yard waste drop-off center, OR, yard waste, with no trash mixed in, may be taken to the Landfill.) There is no cost for residents to dispose of tree limbs < 8 feet, pallets, leaves or grass clippings at the Landfill’s compost site. Note: Large root balls and tree trunks ≥ 8 feet in length cannot be accepted for our compost operation. Those items can only be disposed in the landfill and will be charged the opens in a new windowlandfill rate. 

Backyard Composting (not collected):

compostYard Waste
– composting involves mixing yard and household organic waste in a pile or bin and providing conditions that encourage decomposition. The decomposition process is fueled by millions of microscopic organisms (bacteria, fungi) that take up residence inside your compost pile, continuously devouring and recycling it to produce a rich organic fertilizer and valuable soil amendment.

Vermicomposting – is the practice of using worms to break down food scraps. The resulting material is a mix of worm castings and decomposed food scraps. The word “vermi” is Latin for worm. Worms like to feed on slowly decomposing organic materials like fruit and vegetable scraps. The worms produce castings that are full of beneficial microbes and nutrients, which makes a great plant fertilizer. Worms are very efficient at breaking down food scraps and can eat over half their body weight in organic matter every day.

For more information, check out our FREE Composting Workshops!

Columbia’s Own Compost is also available for purchase 

Recycle any day of the week at a Recycling Drop-off Center!

Recycle yard waste any day of the week at a Yard Waste Drop-Off Center!

Additional curbside: bulky items, appliances, special assistance, etc.

Note: Only EMPTY motor oil and antifreeze containers may be place in blue recycling bags.  Containers with product remaining can be recycled as Household Hazardous Waste at 1313 Lakeview Avenue. The hazardous waste can be dropped-off for free on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays (8:00am-noon), April through November.