St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District Supports Area Recycling Efforts

St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District

The St. Louis – Jefferson Solid Waste Management District is a regional agency that was created in 1993 to assist the public, private and nonprofit sectors in establishing and expanding waste reduction and recycling. The District includes the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County. For more information visit www.swmd.net or call 314-645-6753.

St. Louis HELP (Health Equipment Lending Program)

The St. Louis Health Equipment and Lending Program (St. Louis HELP) offers a unique service to thousands of donors and recipients each year. How the program works is practical and simple; yet immensely beneficial. Those who no longer have a use for their home medical equipment can easily donate it to St. Louis HELP. These items are then made available at no cost to those in need for as long as necessary.

Before the medical equipment is distributed from St. Louis HELP’s warehouse, all items are checked for functionality, cleaned and repaired if needed. Any unsuitable items are recycled accordingly.

Because of the program’s primary mission, more than 5,000 people are provided with medical equipment that enables them to live as independently as possible and remain contributing members of the community. Moreover, the recycle and reuse aspects of the program account for the diversion of more than 115.6 tons of waste from landfills annually.

Each year, St. Louis HELP distributes more than $2.1 million worth of medical equipment due to the generous donations from local donors. Through this service, program recipients benefit from $1.26 million annually in equipment while an additional $892,000 is distributed through partnerships with local organizations.

Annual follow-up calls with equipment beneficiaries are conducted regarding their experience and potential need for additional or different equipment. This personal contact indicates that recipients experience positive physical and mental changes in their everyday lives. By increasing their independence and overall wellbeing, recipients often note lessened depression due to increased safety and mobility. In addition to the recipients, family members and other caregivers benefit. The equipment provided helps make their job easier and safer, and hopefully, a little less stressful for them and their loved ones.

Although St. Louis HELP accepts and appreciates donations throughout the year, equipment drives conducted at various locations are hugely important. The largest events, in the spring and fall, are held at 12 local Walgreen’s locations. Volunteers at each site accept equipment donations, load them onto trucks and deliver them to the warehouse.

Home Medical Equipment devices include, but are not limited to, manual and power wheelchairs, scooters, canes, crutches, walkers, shower chairs, tub transfer benches, grab bars, elevated toilet seats, portable commodes, wheelchair ramps, seating cushions, back supports/positioning devices, dressing aids, electric hospital beds, van lifts, lift chairs and stair lifts.

St. Louis HELP is a non-profit organization – all donations are tax deductible.
For more information please call 314-567-4700 or visit www.stlhelp.org.

Reduce, Reuse, Refab…

You walk out the front door one morning and notice something different about your neighbor’s house. Your view has been obscured by an enormous metal dumpster that will soon fill up with drywall scraps, lumber, bricks, cardboard boxes, umpteen crumpled up fast food bags, windows, cabinets, and even the kitchen sink. Weeks, maybe months, later the dumpster has gone to the landfill, the humming sound of the power saw and air the compressor subside, and your neighbors’ house gleams that remodeled gleam.

If you have ever asked yourself if there was another way to do things so that all that stuff didn’t go to the landfill, then you should get to know Refab. Founded in 2012, Refab promotes the collective and creative re-use of our built environment by offering free deconstruction services to homeowners, business owners, and contractors. The goal is to keep re-usable materials out of area landfills and to make them available to rehabbers, crafters, artists, designers and other creative people like you. landfills and to make them available to rehabbers, crafters, artists, designers and other creative people like you.

Refab works with the St. Patrick Center to create employment opportunities for unemployed veterans seeking a new career in green industry. Veteran trainees at Refab gain new skills in deconstruction, warehousing, and sales. As a nonprofit organization, all of the money raised reselling your neighbor’s old commode goes to fund reemployment training opportunities in St. Louis.

Every Friday and Saturday, Refab opens its warehouse to the public for your browsing and buying pleasure. The inventory at their 20,000-sq-ft warehouse in South City is ever changing so you never know what you’re going to find. One week it’s 50’s metal cabinet sets or dozens of multi-pane window sashes, the next it’s giant wooden spools or pallets of chemistry glass and lab equipment. Refab is always a good place to check out if you’re looking for reclaimed hardwood flooring, cool old doors, or just about anything for your Pinterest project.

So before that humongous orange dumpster rolls onto your driveway for an extended stay, give Refab a call at 314-357-1392 or email donate@refabstl.org. You can also support Refab and help keep good, reusable materials out of area landfills by buying reclaimed materials on Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm, donating via their website at refabstl.org, or volunteering at the warehouse or on the deconstruction site—email volunteer@refabstl.org.

Jack Kaufmann Uses Music To Teach Recycling To Area Children

Most of us are aware that waste reduction and recycling are important factors in preserving the earth’s resources; especially for our children. So naturally, as we do our part, we also strive to inform and educate young people about how our actions impact the environment. So how do we get kid’s attention these days?

“In-The-Green Productions by Jack Kaufmann” accomplishes this by incorporating music and multimedia. He entertains and educates thousands of elementary students about waste reduction and recycling each year. His creative, interactive and musical style captivates students and staff throughout the presentation. Follow-up evaluations from staff and administrators highly praise the live productions. (Including cute little smiley faces; an educator’s stamp of approval.)

Kaufmann’s recycling presentation was created 25 years ago and continues to evolve as environmental concerns change and grow over time. In the last eight-month period alone, “In-The-Green” productions held shows in 30 elementary schools, which were attended by more than 6,500 students and staff. These uniquely engaging 30-40 minutes sessions are held throughout the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District; City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County.

Kaufmann’s production is filled with motivating transitions as he sings, talks, plays music and shows videos on “the big screen.” Playing his instruments along with the environmental images on the screen helps children connect to the overall message. The music, a blend of original compositions and recognizable cover tunes, is enhanced by a compelling video production, which includes a steady flow of waste reduction information as well as captivating images of visualized natural beauty. Along with the story-telling, Kaufmann utilizes several musical components including vocals, flute, guitar, keyboards and percussion. (A favorite among children is his flute, which he crafted from recycle PVC pipe.)

The presentation first draws student’s attention to the beauty and wonders of the natural world as well as our connections to it. The songs and video then introduce the concept of landfills and the available capacity; along with the environmental problems associated with the disposal of waste. The focus then shifts to waste reduction alternatives. Finally, the presentation recaps the main concepts and reminds children of their personal ties, individual importance and connection with local and global environment.

“In-The-Green Productions” uses today’s technology, music and our love of nature to teach children the “3 Rs” of the newer generations; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. For more information, go to www.in-the-green.net.


Associations, Organizations and resources
America Recycles Day –

Earth 911 – www.earth911.org

e-cycle Missouri – www.e-cyclemo.org

Envirolink – www.envirolink.org

Global Recycling Network – www.grn.com

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program – www.HHWSTL.com

Keep America Beautiful – www.Kab.org

Missouri Recycling Association – www.mora.org

National Recycling Coalition – www.nrcrecycles.org

Resource St. Louis – www.resourcestlouis.org

St. Louis Green – www.stlouisgreen.com

The Healthy Planet magazine – www.thehealthyplanet.com

City of St. Louis – www.stlouis-mo.gov (Search Recycling, click Refuse Division’s Recycling Program)

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