MRPC News Release

For immediate release
Jan. 31, 2017

For more information, contact
Tammy Snodgrass or Jill Hollowell at (573) 265-2993


Ozark Rivers awards over $200,000 in local grants
The Dixon Caring Center, Dixon High School Key Club receive funding

ST. JAMES—The Dixon Caring Center and the Dixon High School Key Club received grant funding totaling $33,587.20 for the continuation of their environmental efforts.  Overall, 11 environmental programs throughout the Meramec Region were awarded $200,729 in grant funding, through the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD), with funding provided by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).

The Dixon Area Caring Center Recycling Service was awarded a grant for $28,637.20. This funding allows them to continue providing Dixon and surrounding areas an option for recycling, thus keeping waste out of local landfills. The Caring Center is expanding its facility, which will allow it to streamline its process.

“In 2016, we were able to process over 88,000 pounds of waste,” Mendy Sinden, the Dixon Area Caring Center director said. “This is currently near our capacity but upon completion of our expansion, we hope to be able to increase volumes. We anticipate being able to increase our intake to 50-plus tons of waste per year. We think this will also allow us to increase the amount of items we are able to receive to include batteries and glass and possibly other hard to recycle items.”

The Dixon High School Key Club was also awarded funding, totaling $4,950. Grant funding supports the clubs “The Choice is Yours: Waste It or Recycle It” program. Approximately 20 students in the Key Club work the program, which offers cardboard, paper, magazines, tin cans (clean) and plastic recycling.

“The grant is so beneficial for our school,” Trish McCray, the club sponsor, said. “It allows us to keep 10 tons of recyclable material out of the landfills, which without the program would be going back to the trash cans [at the school]. It also allows us the opportunity to reach young people, so we can encourage them to start recycling.”

Each year, the ORSWMD board meets to review, discuss and approve grant applications. The goal of the grant program is to support projects that reduce waste from being sent to landfills. These projects include waste reduction, recycling, composting and education programs. Once approved by the ORSWMD board, the grant applications are forwarded to MDNR for final approval. Other grant applications that were approved for 2017 include:

  • Phelps County Commission – Tough on Trash XI, $8,970;
  • Maries County – Recycling for Environmental Excellence, $5,980;
  • Jack Kaufmann – In the Green Productions environmental education, $5,400;
  • Bourbon High School – Food Waste Reduction and Vermicomposting, $9,536.56;
  • MRPC – Cities of Rolla and St. Robert for Household Hazardous Waste Collections, $37,161.30;
  • MRPC – Special Waste Collections (appliances, electronics, tires), $27,996.60;
  • MRPC – Community Outreach and Assistance Fund, $5,000;
  • MRPC – Illegal Dump Cleanup Program, $8,910.70; and
  • MRPC – Education, Public Awareness and Business Outreach, $33,553.53.

The grant funds awarded to MRPC are for district-wide projects identified as priorities by the solid waste district.

The 2018 grant cycle will open July 2017.

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 MDNR, involves intense education to encourage waste reduction and recycling projects in member counties and cities.

Those needing more information on waste reduction may contact Jill Hollowell, environmental programs specialist, at 573-265-2993 or by email at or visit the Ozark Rivers website at

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 or on Facebook at

Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District board members Marvin Wright (left), Secretary Darrell Skiles, Treasurer Steve Vogt, Vice Chairperson Gary Gillam and Craig French review local grant applications at their meeting in September 2016. The grants, which the Missouri Department of Natural Resources provides funding for, support projects to reduce the amount of waste being landfilled. Eligible projects include waste reduction, recycling and composting or education projects.


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