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Eleven new, permanent recycling bins were installed on Main Street this week as a result of the What’s Next Midlands “Soda City Recycles” project.  Soda City Recycles was inspired by several ideas submitted to WhatsNextMidlands.com that expressed a need for increased public recycling in heavy pedestrian areas.

The new recycling containers complement the existing trash receptacles, an intentional change by City of Columbia Planning and Development Services.

“This is an important improvement not only because it encourages recycling, but from an urban design standpoint as well,” said Lucinda Statler, Principal Planner/Urban Designer for City of Columbia. “The City is working on standardizing our streetscape designs, starting with those in our four urban design districts. Having high-quality, identifiable streetscape elements such as paving patterns, street lights, and trash/recycling bins adds continuity to districts and corridors and helps create a sense of place in each particular area.”

Several Main Street businesses helped bring the project to fruition, including Uptown on Main, Blue Flour Bakery, CDM Smith, Doctor’s Care, Mast General Store, King’s Jewelers, The Nickelodeon, and The Grand.  All of these contributions were matched by What’s Next Midlands, which accounted for roughly half of the funding. The remaining funds were provided by SCE&G, the project’s largest supporter.

“The Solid Waste Division is thrilled with the community-wide effort of What’s Next Midlands to help install more recycling containers along Main Street,” said Samantha Yager, City Recycling Coordinator.

“With greater access to public space recycling, we are one step closer to achieving our goal of a 40 percent recycling rate by 2020.”

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