For immediate release
June 21, 2017
For more information, contact
Tammy Snodgrass or Jill Hollowell at (573) 265-2993
Employees from Midwest Recycling Center unload a stove from Phelps County Associate Commissioner Gary Hick’s truck to be recycled. Items are refurbished or recycled based on their condition.
Brewer Science employee Cameron Stover stands next to the pile of tires collected at the Rolla Special Collection May 20. Stover helped with coordinating the collection including doing a radio promotion.
Brewer Science special waste collection nets 14 tons of recyclable material
ROLLA—Meramec Regional Planning Commission, with funding from the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD), gathered 11.01 tons of residential scrap electronics and appliances and 3.45 tons of tires at a special collection held at Brewer Science in Rolla. Approximately 160 vehicles from within the Ozark Rivers seven-county region – Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington – dropped off items at the collection on May 20.
Brady Wilson, chairman of the ORSWMD, believes these special collections are valued not only as a convenience to local residents, but also as a way to reduce the environmental impact by keeping potentially toxic electronic waste out of landfills.
“I believe the special collections are important to the residents of the communities within our region because it offers them an affordable option for properly disposing of, and recycling the items we tend to refer to as “orphan wastes” or those items that are difficult to find a home for,” Wilson said. “Tires and appliances are banned from landfills. In addition, these collection events help to gather these items which otherwise can often end up in county ditches and streams thereby desecrating the local landscape and the environment.”
The most frequently recycled items were microwaves and refrigerators. Other items included water heaters, AC units, washers, dryers and various cord or battery operated smaller electronic devices.
“Brewer Science has done an outstanding job of partnering on recycling events,” Hollowell said. “We greatly appreciate all of the employee volunteers that come out in all weather – rain, cold, extreme heat - to provide this invaluable service to the community.”
Many individuals who came to the collection, while grateful for the opportunity to unload their items, were curious where the items were going.
“The certified collection contractor, Midwest Recycling Center in this case, distributes the collected items to either be refurbished or broken down to recycle rare earth element components,” Jill Hollowell, environmental program specialist with Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC), said. “The last resort is responsible destruction and that assures contaminants in electronics, such as mercury, lead and arsenic, never pollute our air or water.”
The collection held last year, hosted by Brewer Science served approximately 260 cars and collected 23.74 tons of electronics, appliances and tires. Hollowell attributes the decrease from 2016 to the variety of other recycling opportunities in the area.
“As this is the 12th annual collection held at Brewer Science, we may assume that the amount of electronics being held by residents is decreasing,” Hollowell said. “This could be because residents have more opportunities for recycling electronics through the Rolla Recycling Center and the Goodwill Store in Rolla.”
The next Ozark Rivers collection is Aug. 26 at the St. Robert Community Center, 114 J.H. Williamson Drive, St. Robert.
The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. The district’s strategy for solid waste reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by Missouri Department of Natural Resources, promotes awareness and education to increase waste reduction and recycling efforts in member counties and cities. MRPC provides administration of the district and assists with a variety of implementation projects.
For more information about ORSWMD or waste reduction and recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers area, contact Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC environmental programs manager, or Jill Hollowell at 573-265-2993. Follow Ozark Rivers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ORSWMD or on our website at ozarkrivers.org for future collection dates and waste management grants.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 25, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.