ST. JAMES—Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD), in conjunction with the Mark Twain National Forest, will host an informational meeting at 4 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Washington County Library, 235 E. High St., Potosi. The meeting will cover what citizens can do about illegal dumps and how illegal dumping affects property values, water quality and people’s health. Several community partners will be in attendance to speak about illegal dumping on Mark Twain National Forest land.

Illegal dumping affects county citizens, especially if they reside near the dumpsites. Dumping affects wildlife, water sources and diminishes nearby property values. Unsafe disposal of chemicals or other pollutants can be a health hazard to local residents, especially if it leaches into the groundwater supply. Wildlife and other domestic animals can be sickened after consuming trash or other dumped material.

On March 7, there will be a clean up targeting two areas of the county near Potosi. To find out how to participate in the clean-up, contact Kathryn Hawes at or by phone at 573-265-2993.

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. The Meramec Regional Planning Commission (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 30 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