CRAWFORD COUNTY — In August, ten volunteers from the Viburnum area removed 4.03 tons of trash and recycled 140 pounds of scrap metal and 9 tires from the Mark Twain National Forest on Highway Y north of Viburnum in Crawford County. Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) provided safety vests, gloves, hard hats, trash bags, and paid for the dumpster, using grant funds from Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD).

Samantha Alcorn, who lives in Viburnum, contacted MRPC and coordinated the volunteers for the cleanup.

illegal dump cleanup

Volunteers work to clear an illegal dump from the Mark Twain National Forest in Crawford County.

“I decided to organize this cleanup because I wanted to show not only my son, but others, that one person can make a difference, and I chose this location because it’s our town,” Alcorn said via email. “This is our land, and as a community, if we want to keep enjoying it, we need to be responsible for it. Missouri is too beautiful to let anyone use it like a dumpster.”

The Crawford County cleanup is the second cleanup coordinated by MRPC in 2020. The other cleanup was in Washington county and resulted in over 10 tons of waste and recyclable material removed from public property.

For those interested in participating or organizing a cleanup, contact Kathryn Hawes, MRPC environmental specialist, at 573-265-2993 or via email at

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 involves education and increased recycling and waste reduction 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, at 573-265-2993 or by email at Also, find us on Facebook at and on the web at MRPC provides the day-to-day administration for Ozark Rivers.

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. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 34 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