St. Louis/Jefferson Solid Waste Management District

The St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District has been working to expand recycling in the St. Louis region since 1993. The District is a regional public agency that serves St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson and St. Charles counties. The District assists local governments, private businesses, and non-profit organizations in establishing and expanding waste reduction, recycling, composting, education, and household hazardous waste programs. Each of these programs plays an important role in properly managing the waste generated in our homes and businesses every day.
The growth of recycling in Missouri has been tremendous since 1990, when less than 5% of waste was being diverted from disposal. According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, almost 50% is now being diverted. That is a huge increase in a very short time, and recycling is poised to continue this growth in the coming years. Missouri has developed a vigorous recycling industry that expands our economy, protects our environment, and strengthens our communities.
The District assists recycling in several ways. We provide technical assistance and educational resources that help the industry grow, and the District also provides an annual waste reduction and recycling grant program. Since inception, the District has provided more than 800 grants totaling in excess of $30 million dollars to help all aspects of the recycling industry. This may seem like a lot of money, but it translates to just about $1 per person per year. This financial assistance has helped spur the growth of the industry by fostering collaboration and cooperation to form true public-private partnerships, which have leveraged tens of millions of dollars in additional investment.
The District applauds the thousands of dedicated people who have committed their professional and volunteer efforts to develop an industry that will serve our state for years to come. With their tireless work, the St. Louis region has accomplished significant and ongoing waste reduction and recycling. The District is honored to work alongside these dedicated individuals, businesses and organizations. They are the true heroes in this transformation, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude. As we continue to work to change environmental and economic challenges into opportunities, recycling continues to make strides to protect our environment, while growing our economy with green jobs and tax revenues.
The District thanks and congratulates all of our partners for a job well done, and let’s keep up the good work!
For more information please visit us online at www.swmd.net.

Get Ready For Blue Skies
Did you know that the average restaurant throws out 1,000 pounds or more of organic waste per week? Food scraps have become a real focus for many area restaurants that find, if the collection process is convenient and cost effective, they are willing to separate it from other garbage and recycle.

That’s where Blue Skies Recycling comes in. “We provide clean, sanitized collection bins and convenient “valet” pick-up for organic recyclables.  We educate our customers’ employees on the most efficient and cost effective ways to recycle, and even help businesses get the word out to the community about their green and sustainable efforts,” says Harry Cohen, Founder of Blue Skies Recycling.

Restaurant owners and managers have 2 choices for the disposal of organic waste. Sending it to a landfill or repurposing it for recycling. If it goes into the regular garbage for collection, it is taken to a landfill and combined with non-organic waste. As it decomposes, it produces methane gas, one of the three major greenhouse gases that contribute heavily to global warming.  If it’s run through the garbage disposal, organic waste goes into our water supplies, eating oxygen and suffocating aquatic life.

But if recycled through a process called composting, organic waste turns into a nutrient rich soil, a valuable resource that can be sold as organic fertilizer and used by farmers and landscapers to grow healthier and more abundant plants.

100% of organic waste is recyclable, yet still a great number of restaurants and drinking establishments continue with regular garbage collection – directing their waste to landfills. Why?
“When we talk with businesses, they tell us that fear of smell and the cost are the 2 greatest factors keeping them from switching to recycling,” says Cohen.

Blue Skies Recycling solves the “smell” issue with their signature “Valet” collection service. Restaurants and other food establishments that participate in the Blue Skies food recycling collection program, place their food waste and other organic waste in yellow color-coded bins that are typically located in the kitchen/food preparation areas.  Once the bins are loaded they are exchanged with clean, sterilized totes while the loaded containers are transported to a fully permitted composting facility.

And the cost? Ultimately, putting food scraps out for recycling is no different than leaving it for the garbage truck. Recycling is not just an environmentally conscious decision; it’s also good business. It’s easy and can save your business time and money.

Organics waste recycling is in huge demand in the food industry.  It is one of the final steps in helping food service establishments become sustainable.  Does your favorite St. Louis area eatery recycle its organic waste?  Look for our yellow bins the next time you visit. And to learn more about the best ways to go green, ASK BLUE. Call us at 636-532–BLUE (2583) or email info@blueskiesrecycling.com. www.blueskiesrecycling.com.

City of St. Louis Continues To Grow Its Recycling Efforts
The City of St. Louis collects approximately 200,000 tons of waste each year, from City residents, as well as City government facilities and public spaces, and special events. Annually, this costs the City about $6 million in landfill tipping fees. In 2009, from just residential alley and curb dumpsters and rollcarts, the City landfilled 142,646 tons of solid waste, costing $4,871,895 in landfill tipping fees.
In response to the quantity and cost of waste being landfilled, the City began implementing a new residential recycling pick-up service in 2010, which is being phased in gradually Ward-by-Ward, area-by-area. In this new service, single-stream recyclables will be collected using blue dumpsters and rollcarts in alleys and at curbs. Blue recycling dumpsters were first delivered to residences in October 2010, and blue recycling rollcarts in December. It is anticipated that delivery of these blue recycling dumpsters and rollcarts to the City’s alleys and streets will continue throughout at least 2011, eventually reaching all approximately 142,000 households.
The City is reaching out to residents to educate them about the benefits of recycling and to promote this new service. Their methods include a website, a Twitter site (@CSLRRR), bulletins on STL TV (the City’s cable television station), e-mails and listservs, newsletters, brochures, flyers, postcards, bookmarkers, and presentations to residents and PreK-12 students (e.g., Ward, neighborhood association, community group, and/or block unit meetings; classes; special events).
By introducing this new residential recycling pick-up service, and continuing efforts to reduce the amount of waste generated and reuse materials as many times as possible, the City expects to:
• Avoid disposal costs. The City pays a fee for each ton of waste it buries in a landfill.
• Conserve energy. It is more energy-efficient to manufacture with recyclable resources than virgin materials.
• Minimize pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. Manufacturing with recyclable resources causes less pollution (i.e., air, water, soil), and releases fewer greenhouse gases, than virgin materials.
• Create more jobs. Every one job in a landfill equals about ten jobs in a Materials Recovery Facility where recyclables are processed.
• Minimize litter and illegal dumping, because those materials have value (e.g., someone buys them; someone accepts them without any fee; someone has a use for them, even if they don’t buy them, etc.).
Details about this new service are posted on the City of St. Louis Refuse Division Recycling Program’s website at http://stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/street/refuse/recycle.

St. Louis HELP: (St. Louis Health and Lending Program)
Each year, in the St. Louis area alone, thousands of people find themselves in need of various kinds of medical equipment to help during illness and recovery. On the other hand, thousands of others have usable medical equipment they no longer need. Although a connection and coordination between the two seems logical, it didn’t become a reality in St. Louis until Laura Cannon took the initiative to make it a reality.

In 2008, Laura Cannon started St. Louis HELP after reading an article about an “equipment lending closet” run by a church in Fargo, ND. What began as a part-time community service project quickly became a full time commitment. Within just three months, Ms. Cannon secured the necessary requirements for compliance with State and Federal regulatory agencies. And by 2009, they doubled the size of their warehouse when they moved to a 4,400 sq. ft. facility.

St. Louis HELP (officially known as St. Louis Health and Lending Program), collects new and used home medical equipment from individuals and businesses in the Greater St. Louis community. The items are cleaned and then loaned to anyone in need at no cost or fee. The uninsured, underinsured, disabled, elderly and their caregivers are particularly at risk of facing barriers to accessing much needed home medical equipment (HME). These vulnerable populations continue to experience reduced access to health care services, demonstrating a continuing need for a strong, viable safety net.

The overwhelming support from equipment donors and the ever-increasing requests for equipment indicate that St. Louis HELP’s services are vital to the community. The availability of essential and fundamental medical equipment reduces long-term medical costs, while providing a better quality of life to equipment recipients and caregivers throughout the community. When age, injury or disability limits functioning, people want to continue to be independent, mobile and productive. They want to be self-sufficient, live in homes of their own choosing and maintain control over their lives. HME becomes a critical tool to achieve that objective.
In 2010 alone, St. Louis HELP:
• Collected 7,832 HME items – including 3
accessible vans – from 1,339 donors.
• Received 3,533 phone calls from individuals
in need of equipment.
• Distributed 2,013 HME items to individuals
providing a cost savings to recipients and
their caregivers of over $800,000.
• Forwarded over 2,000 items to Partner
Organizations in Haiti, Nigeria and South America.
• Received 1,588 hours of service from over 60
• Recycled over 27 tons of unusable items.
• Diverted over 177 tons of HME from the
solid waste stream.
• Conducted two major Equipment Drives
(May and October).
Through a grant from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District in 2010, St. Louis HELP hired two managers, and greatly increased their services to the community.
Contact St. Louis HELP for more information, including warehouse hours, at (314) 567-4700 or visit www.stlhelp.org.

Leftovers, etc. Resource and Learning Center
Leftovers, etc., an Arts and Science Resource and Learning Center, located at 1759a Scherer Parkway in the City of St. Charles, MO. “Leftovers, etc.”, provides three distinct services to the community.
Our Resource Center provides basic learning tools and surplus materials that are used by children for creative learning and experimentation; for educational teaching aids that reinforce language, art, science and math skills; for developing fine and gross motor skills and for manipulative skill-building for the mentally and physically challenged.
In 2010, 282,911+ children benefitted from the resources we provide to public and private schools, organizations working with under-privileged, low-income, at risk, mentally and physically challenged children and adults, home school groups, PATs, early childhood centers, scout and church leaders, occupational and physical therapists in 36 Missouri counties and 15 Illinois counties.
Our Learning Center provides internal and outreach workshops for children and adults with all supplies provided by our Resource Center. Activities include our Scouting “Learn and Earn” program, Home School Enrichment program (incorporating Performing Arts), Adult Leisure and Recreational program, as well as public school field trips, birthday parties, teacher workshops and summer camps followed by skill-building afternoon activities.
In 2010, we conducted 2,402 internal workshops and participated in 157 hours of outreach activities. More than 9,857 children and adults participated in our internal workshops and more than 8,100 participated in our outreach activities.
Our Scouting program provides 195 Girl Scout and 151 Boy/Cub Scout workshops. Workshops provided through our Home School Enrichment Center focus on providing “enrichment” workshops to supplement the schooling being done in the home. We offer classes in Creative Art, Communications, Career Exploration, Foreign Language, Hobbies and Interests, Math, Safety, Science and Social Studies. Our performing arts program includes private and group instrumental and voice lessons, theater, and all genres of dance.
Our Rehabilitative Program for Mentally and Physically Challenged children and adults provided more than 675 hours of in-house developmental activities that include daily living practices such as separating, sorting and performing other simple tasks. We partner with Community Living, Emmaus Homes, RHD-MO and Willows Way in St. Charles County.
Our goal is to heighten awareness of the “green” movement and provide material that fosters creativity and encourages children to “think outside of the box”.
In 2010, 98.7 tons of disposables were removed from the waste stream as a result of our resource and learning center activities.

For more information please visit online at www.leftoversetc.com.

City of Kirkwood: Single Stream Recycling
For many years the City of Kirkwood has been known for having a one-of-a-kind area for accepting recycling materials, the Francis Scheidegger Recycling Depository. The City has now added a new service for the residents’ convenience, single-stream curbside recycling. Five districts now divide the City for once-per-week trash, yard waste, and recycling services. Upon changing the previous twice-per-week trash service, residents quickly realized how much of their waste could be recycled, thus reducing the amounts they were discarding each week. The new program began January 3, 2011 and through the first two months of the new program, a total of 624.20 tons of recyclable materials have been collected and diverted from the waste stream. With 9,327 accounts, approximately 67 lbs of recyclable materials is collected from each household, per month, in 64-gallon carts. These carts were purchased through grants from both St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District and St. Louis County Health Department. The materials are then transported, in rear-loader sanitation vehicles, and taken to the Material Recovery Facility, Resource Management Companies, located in Earth City.

The City’s fleet of rear-loader refuse trucks was modified with cart flippers in order to discard the recyclable materials into the hopper. Three trucks have been dedicated to the recycling program, along with two pickup trucks with hoppers.

Future plans for the single-stream recycling operation include incorporating multi-family and commercial properties into the program. Educational efforts and additional recycling information will continue to be brought to the attention of the residents through the Eye on Kirkwood in the Webster-Kirkwood Times newspaper, utility bill inserts, and the City’s website, www.kirkwoodmo.org. Sanitation brochures are also being updated to include recycling guidelines, as well as what types of materials can be recycled through the program.

Through the addition of curbside recycling, the City is continuing its effort to further the idea to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE. For more information please visit online at www.ci.kirkwood.mo.us.

Recycling Creates Green Jobs!
by David Berger, Executive Director St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District

In 1990, more than 90 percent of Missouri’s waste went to landfills, while less than 10 percent was being recycled. Since the majority of what we “throw away” can be recycled, this resulted in a huge loss of valuable resources worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This was bad for both the environment and the economy. Missourians demanded change, and the St. Louis region responded.
Over the last 18 years, St. Louis has grown a dynamic recycling industry that diverts nearly half of all waste from landfills through waste reduction, recycling and reuse. This has happened because of an unprecedented level of cooperation among the public, private, and independent sectors of the community. By working together, more has been accomplished than most thought possible.
There are many components to the recycling industry. Reducing the amount of waste generated, collecting and processing materials for use in new products, composting yard waste and organic materials, diverting household hazardous waste, and making new products from recovered materials are all part of modern recycling.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of tons of what was once considered waste is being used to create valuable new products. Conserving and reusing these resources results in tremendous environmental benefits for our region and beyond. Recycling saves natural resources, conserves energy, reduces air and water pollution, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. These benefits continue year after year because all of us do our part.

Many people are surprised to learn that it’s not just our environment that benefits from recycling. The recycling industry is also a major contributor to our regional economy. Almost 16,000 people are employed in green jobs created by local recycling businesses. The recycling industry’s economic impact exceeds national averages. The payrolls and state and local taxes generated by the recycling industry are an important component of the economic base of St. Louis and Missouri. What’s more, the recycling industry is poised to continue growing in the years ahead.
The recycling industry has grown because we all do our part, from participating in local collection programs to purchasing products made from recovered materials. This is a true public-private partnership of which we can all be proud. To keep growing, each of us has a role to play, and we all need to do our part. The St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District is proud to have played a role in the growth of this industry by providing technical and financial assistance for recycling since the early 1990’s.

Find It On The Web — Everyday Recycling Information
City of St. Louis: http://stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments /street/refuse/recycle/
Jefferson County Residents: www.jeffcomo.org
St. Louis County Recycling Info: www.recyclesaintlouis.com
St. Charles County Recycling Info: www.scchealth.org/docs/es
St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District: www.swmd.net
St. Louis Earth Day: www.stlouisearthday.org
Electronics Recycling – St. Louis: www.ecyclestlouis.org
Earth911: www.earth911.org
Rechargeable Batteries: www.call2recycle.org
Mercury Thermostats: www.thermostat-recycle.org
Missouri Department of Natural Resources: www.dnr.mo.gov/waste.htm
The Healthy Planet magazine: www.thehealthyplanet.com
Green Resources: www.StLouisGreen.com

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