January 17, 2002

City Closes Deal To Have Recycling Trailer Starting February 1

The City of Memphis and Industrial Opportunities, Inc. of Kahoka finalized the deal that will bring recycling services to Memphis at a January 9 meeting at the Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission office.

Industrial Opportunities will begin placing a trailer for recyclable products in Memphis on February 1. The trailer will be located on city property at the former highway department shed, located on the west side of the road at the intersection of Highway 136 and Highway 15 north in Memphis.

Manager Charles Allen stated the Kahoka-based organization helped eliminate more than 500 tons from local landfills last year alone. The 30 employees of the business do jobs for various manufacturers and vendors in the Tri-State area.

Recyclables to be collected at the Memphis site include cardboard, newsprint, magazines, shredded office paper, white office waste paper, tin cans, aluminum cans, and plastics such as soda bottles, laundry detergent bottles and all #1 and #2 plastic bottles like milk and ketchup containers.

All bottles and cans should be rinsed out prior to drop off at the collection trailer. Allen also asked that labels be left on all containers and that the mass of items be placed in larger sacks or boxes for handling. He noted that plastic grocery sacks work well for this.

According to the agreement, the City of Memphis will be responsible for all litter and non-recyclable materials left at the site. It also noted that any abuse of the trailer or any materials left that are not recyclable would result in the termination of the service.

Mayor Ron Alexander asked that all citizens wishing to use the service also work to police the site and insure that it is not misused. He noted anyone that sees vandalism or individuals leaving inappropriate materials at the site should notify the Memphis Police Department.

Items NOT to be left at the recycling site include aluminum storm doors and windows, vinyl siding scraps, metal scraps from buildings, guttering, tires or tire rims, glass, window glass, diapers, clothing, or any car parts, yard refuse, dog pen refuse, any perishable items such as meat, meat by-products, fruits and vegetables and medical waste.

"Everyone must remember our people handle this material and it must be kept clean," Allen said. "A recycling program is a benefit to the residents and our employees. Misuse will result in termination of the program."

A 1997 study by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) indicated that an estimated 37 percent of solid waste generated in the United States could be recycled cost effectively. Based on re-sale of these materials that represents $137 million in sales, and overall is equivalent to $160 million with the landfill tipping cost savings included.

Overall nearly eight million tons of solid waste are generated each year in Missouri. That represents 1.02 tons per person. As a nation, the United States creates 230 million tons of waste, or the equivalent of 4.5 pounds per person, per day.

In 1997 recycling was the main component in a 30 percent reduction in the amount of solid waste that was going to Missouri landfills. While the amount of waste generated has remained relatively constant since 1990, the amount diverted from landfills has steadily risen from 10 percent to the current 30 percent level.

That in part is do to a dramatic increase in recycling opportunities. In 1987 there were only 47 recycling sites in Missouri. In 1997 the DNR study revealed there were 358 recycling sites and that number has continued to grow to the current date.

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