Solid Waste News

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. Almost two million people reside within the District, making ours the largest of the twenty Solid Waste Management Districts in Missouri.

These Districts assist 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 by homes and businesses on a daily basis.
The growth in recycling has been tremendous since Missouri’s recycling law was passed in 1990, when less than 5% of all waste was being diverted from disposal. According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, more than 45% is now being diverted from disposal. 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 has assisted in this effort in several ways. In addition to technical assistance and educational resources that have helped the industry grow, the main tool has been the waste reduction and recycling grant program. Since inception, the District has provided more than 700 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 assistance has helped catalyze the growth of the industry by fostering collaboration and cooperation to form true public-private partnerships, which leverage tremendous amounts of additional investment.

The District appreciates 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 waste reduction. The District is honored to work along side these dedicated individuals. They are the true heroes in this transformation, and the region owes them a debt of thanks. As the District works to confront the enormous environmental challenges facing our society, recycling continues to make strides to protect our environment, while growing our economy with jobs and taxes.

The District thanks and congratulates all of our partners for a job well done, and let’s keep up the good work!

St. Louis Cardinals & Busch Stadium Recycling
Thanks to a new composting program at Busch Stadium, the St. Louis Cardinals are now keeping over 35% of all waste generated at Busch Stadium out of landfills. So far in 2012, the Cardinals have composted over 177 tons – equal to 354,000 pounds of organic material!

How Busch Stadium Does Composting
The compost bins – conveniently placed in concession and kitchen prep areas – are lined with compostable bags, which are similar to trash bags except that they break down when they are composted. Food service workers at Busch Stadium conveniently place food scraps in the bins. This includes food prep waste from the buffets found in the Stadium’s suites and clubs, such as the Cardinals Club. Types of organic prep waste include cantaloupe rinds, vegetable peels, and stale bread.

The Cardinals’ maintenance staff collects the bins after every game. The organic waste is picked up by Blue Skies Recycling, a compost hauling service provider. Blue Skies takes the compost to St. Louis Composting. At this local composting facility, the Cardinals’ compost material is mixed with other organic materials to create the right carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. They also maintain the right levels of air and water in the compost mix to allow the microorganisms to break the food down as quickly as possible. Within a few months, the buffet prep scraps and stale breads have become a rick, dark brown compost that is the perfect food for fruit and vegetable plants in healthy gardens.

Recycling at Busch Stadium started in 2008 with the assistance of the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District. The “4 A Greener Game” program began simply with recycling cardboard and placing recycling bins accessible to fans and visitors. The Cardinals “Green Team” volunteers also collect recyclables from fans between innings. In that first year, over 16% of all waste generated at Busch Stadium was kept out of the landfills via this recycling program.

Since then, the Cardinals have continued to look for ways to green their operations, and composting food waste is just the most recent addition. They also donate leftover food to Operation Food Search, increased the amount of recycling, and have increased recycling to include glass. These improvements increased what is known as the “diversion rate,” or the percentage of waste that is diverted from landfills, so that in 2011, over 28% of all waste was kept out of the landfills.

Looking To Next Year
Next year, they are planning to expand composting to the Champions Club and other areas of Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are looking forward to adding a fully compostable service ware product line with DNC SportsService, including cups, cutlery, and plates.

Arm Strong Environmental
A milestone achieved: 50% Waste Diversion at Park Forest Apartments
Park Forest Apartments located at 7529 Fleta, St. Louis MO, 63123 is an ASE Green Certified community. Park Forest Apartments reached a major milestone in the multi-family industry by achieving 50% waste diversion in May 2011. The Michelson Organization currently managing Park Forest Apartments continues to push towards more waste diversion. Arm Strong Environmental L.L.C. and Park Forest Apartments have partnered together and are leading the way for multi-family communities not only in St. Louis but throughout the country in recycling and waste diversion.

The milestone of 50% waste diversion was achieved utilizing Arm Strong Environmental services and their ASE Green program along with the outstanding efforts of the Park Forest staff and residents.

St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District, The Michelson Organization, and Rob Paxton of Republic Services also contributed to the success of this achievement.

Arm Strong Environmental L.L.C. is a St. Louis area based company that specializes in implementing “GREEN Waste Solutions for Apartment Communities.” For more than a decade, Arm Strong Environmental (ASE) has been responsible for setting up, servicing and expanding recycling programs for apartment communities.

Arm Strong Environmental offers both standard and customized programs, which can be tailored to meet the specific needs of various apartment complexes. One common convenience for all participants is “valet” collection, where recycling is picked up at the resident’s doorstep. In all programs, ASE provides educational material and training to apartment staff. ASE also educates and promotes the service to existing and prospective residents and informs them of additional recycling and reuse opportunities available in their community.

Park Forest Apartment’s success has not gone unnoticed. Several other multi-family St. Louis area communities that are already achieving 25% waste diversion have set their goals higher to meet the milestone of 50% waste diversion. These communities are: Whispering Hills, Charter Place & Woodsmill Village.

Multifamily communities looking to implement a truly successful recycling and waste diversion program like Park Forest Apartments can visit the ASE website at www.armstrongenvironmental.com or call Arm Strong Environmental at 314-878-3840. Let ASE help your community GO GREEN and remember every item you recycle has jobs attached to it and every recyclable item put in the trash is a wasted American resource.

Find It On The Web — Recycling Information

Associations, Organizations and resources
America Recycles Day- www.americarecyclesday.org
Envirolink – www.envirolink.org
Global Recycling Network – www.grn.com
Missouri Recycling Association – www.mora.org
National Recycling Coalition – www.nrcrecycles.org
Resource St. Louis – www.resourcestlouis.org
The Healthy Planet magazine: www.thehealthyplanet.com
e-cycle St. Louis – www.ecyclestlouis.org
e-cycle Missouri – www.e-cyclemo.org
St. Louis Green – www.stlouisgreen.com
Keep America Beautiful – www.Kab.org
Earth 911 – www.earth911.org

Local Recycling Information – Government
City of St. Louis –www.stlouis-mo.gov (Click Government, Click Departments & Agencies, Click Recycling)
Jefferson County Residents – www.jeffcomo.org (then go to Services and click Recycling)
St. Louis County Recycling Information – www.recyclesaintlouis.com
St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District – www.swmd.net
St. Charles County Recycling Information – www.scchealth.org/docs/es/docs/recycle