VIENNA—Meramec Regional Planning Commission, with funding from the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD), gathered 6 tons of electronics and appliances at the Oct. 2 collection, held in Vienna. 51 vehicles from within the Ozark Rivers seven-county region – Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington – dropped off items at the collection. MRPC partnered with Maries County and the Maries County Sheriff’s Department. South Central Stockyards provided the drop-off location for the collection.

“We want to say thanks to Maries County and the four officers assisting from the Maries County Sheriff’s Department,” said Jill Hollowell, environmental specialist at MRPC. “We endured the rain and when the sunshine broke many residents came out. There was nearly a ton of items that would not fit on the truck. Thank you to South Central Stockyards for allowing us to host the event on their property and for letting us keep dry on their porch. Special thank you to Commissioner Vic Stratman for all of his hard work the day of the event and for providing his tractor with a rainproof cab.”

Brady Wilson, chairman of the ORSWMD, says these special collections are valued not only as a convenience to local residents, but also as a way to reduce the environmental impact by keeping potentially toxic electronic waste out of landfills.  

“I believe the special collections are important to the residents of the communities within our region because it offers them an affordable option for properly disposing of, and recycling the items we tend to refer to as “orphan wastes” or those items that are difficult to find a home for,” Wilson said. “Whole tires and appliances are banned from landfills. In addition, these collection events help to gather these items which otherwise can often end up in county ditches and streams, thereby contaminating the local landscape and the environment.” 

Appliances were the most collected item with the most frequently recycled appliance items being refrigerators, washers, dryers and microwaves.   

Appliances and e-waste are handled by Midwest Recycling Center, a certified collection contractor, who deconstructs the collected items to either be refurbished or recycled. Rare earth elements are extracted from electronic components, resulting in conservation of our natural resources. The last resort is responsible destruction and that assures contaminants, such as mercury, lead, arsenic and Freon, never pollute the air or water. 

2022 collections are scheduled for March 5 in Potosi, April 30 in Rolla, Oct. 8 in St. Robert and Nov. 12 in Belle with exact locations to be determined.

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, promotes awareness and education to increase waste reduction and recycling 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, or Jill Hollowell at 573-265-2993. Follow Ozark Rivers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ORSWMD or on our website at ozarkrivers.org for future collection dates and waste management grants.

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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