DENT COUNTY — Volunteers from the MO Moto Trail Riders group and employees from Mark Twain National Forest and Meramec Regional Planning Commission cleared 27.92 tons of trash and approximately 256 tires from the Mark Twain National Forest in Dent County on April 2. 

“There are more than 700 confirmed sites across this beautiful Mark Twain National Forest where we have mapped instances of illegal dumping,” Cody Norris, public affairs officer with the Forest Service, said. “Every pound of that trash is a pound that doesn’t belong in the national forest. The cleanup that Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District held with the MO Moto Trail Riders was an exceptional example of what people can do to work together to keep our forests clean. Their cleanup removed 27.92 tons of trash from the forest. That equates to 55,840 pounds of trash. Any one of those pounds of trash could contain substances that might be bad for ground water, plastic bags or rings that could have harmed animals, or other things that are not good for the soil, water, plants, and animals of the forest. Choosing to dispose of trash properly is choosing to take care of the land. We are very thankful for the volunteers that help us take care of the land when others have chosen to hurt it by dumping trash illegally on the forest.” 

Thirty-three MO Moto Trail Riders, one forest service employee and one MRPC employee spent seven hours working to clear the illegally dumped trash and tires from the Mark Twain National Forest land. The group filled four dumpsters.

The Dent County cleanup is the third cleanup coordinated by MRPC in 2022. An additional two cleanups held by Ozark Rivers have been completed, resulting in approximately 1.87 tons of trash and recyclable material being removed from Phelps and Gasconade counties. Ozark Rivers also assisted with two other dump clean-ups which gathered 7.69 tons of trash from illegal dump sites in Pulaski and Washington counties. So far in 2022, the solid waste district has cleared 37.48 tons of trash from the seven-county district. 

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

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 [email protected]. Also, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ORSWMD and on the web at www.ozarkrivers.org. MRPC provides the day-to-day administration for Ozark Rivers. 

Ozark Rivers was established by state statute with the goal of reducing the amount of solid waste sent to our landfills by 40 percent. For over 30 years, ORSWMD has served Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski, and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. 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.

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. Steve Vogt, representing the city of Belle, serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 36 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.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.

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