In response to the need for more education on the importance of proper management of solid waste and to improve awareness of the services available in the district, MRPC staff developed a multi-pronged program. This program addresses several issues including: raising awareness of illegal dumping and recruiting volunteers to help with dumpsite cleanups; informing residents of special waste collections for electronics, appliances and waste tires; and educating citizens on solid waste process – where does trash go? How are recyclables processed? What does a landfill look like?
The solid waste facility tour addresses this part of the program. MRPC saw the need to educate and raise awareness on solid waste management facilities and in 2008 applied for funding through the US Department of Agriculture – Rural Development grant program. MRPC helped coordinate tours for school aged children of solid waste processing facilities in the Ozark Rivers region including the Prairie Valley Landfill in Crawford County, Timber Ridge Landfill in Washington County, Rolla Recycling Center, the composting demonstration site in Rolla, household hazardous waste collections facilities, and waste transfer stations. The ORSWMD provided matching funds for the federal grant. After federal funds were expended, the ORSWMD has continued to fund the facility tours through its district grant program. School districts interested in taking students on solid waste facility field trips can contact district staff at (573) 265-2993, or by email at [email protected] or [email protected]