St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District News

Solid Waste Management

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.

Missouri Kids Unplugged

Connecting Children To Outdoor Adventures
Have you ever skipped a rock across the water; caught crawdads; or searched for arrowheads? If so, you probably remember the thrill of searching the creek bank for hidden treasures or the perfect rock that would skip better and farther than anyone else’s.
Small things maybe; but today’s kids often don’t experience this type of memorable outdoor activity. Each generation faces changes and challenges; and here we are.

A main concern today is the amount of time and attention kids give to electronic devices. Missouri Kids Unplugged (MKU), launched and operated by Tony and Amy Krieg, wants all kids to have the opportunity to create the same type of memories by unplugging from technology and plugging into what nature has to offer.

According to studies done by the American Academy of Pediatrics (aap.org), the average amount of time a child spends plugged into electronics in a single day is seven hours. The AAP recommends a maximum of two hours daily. Not surprisingly, too much time contributes to many health factors, including sleeping and eating disorders, slouching posture, carpal tunnel, and neck and eye strain.

The MKU farm, with 176- acres of land in Jefferson County, is a perfect place for kids to experience so many outdoor activities; creating more opportunity for happy childhood memories. Who couldn’t create wonderful memories with the help of three good-sized lakes, a pond, frontage along a creek, riverfront property, and dedicated people providing fun activities and learning experiences?

This unique, yet logical, undertaking is the mission of MKU. “Our goal is to bring children and families together and show them there are things that can be done without your iPad,” Tony Krieg said. And that’s exactly what MKU is doing with the generous support of volunteers, partners and sponsors.

Fishing, kayaking, falconry, trail hiking, archery and arrowhead hunting are just some of the many activities underway at the MKU farm. Composing, gardening, and recycling are included through presentations and hand’s on activities. With kids experiencing so many forms of nature first-hand, the environmental benefits of waste reduction and recycling may become a little easier for them to grasp personally.

Everyone working together enables MKU to provide this wonderful opportunity to as many kids as possible at minimal charge or at no cost. Partnerships are an important factor in MKU’s being able to provide the variety and volume of available programs. As a non-profit entity, donations, sponsorships, and volunteers are an integral part of making these opportunities available to children from all walks of life. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to participate and relive the thrill of quaint experiences from their childhood while helping today’s children make their own memories.

There are many ways to contribute to MKU’s success The Missouri Kids Unplugged (MKU) program provide an opportunity for fun, safe, and healthy activities for Missouri kids and their families to unplug from technology and get involved in the great outdoors. MKU also offers assistance in helping parents/guardians establish boundaries and guidelines to encourage and reinforce the continued practice of getting “unplugged.”
Contact MKU at www.missourikidsunplugged.org and start creating memorable experiences for your kids and for others.

‘Recycling On The Go’ Collects Over 60 Tons of Waste

You just finished eating the best vegan Thai tacos with local radishes at Food Truck Friday. What do you do with the messy paper boat and a bunch of soiled napkins? The paper boat has a ton of food on it, so it’s probably not recyclable. Napkins are paper, so maybe… You just don’t know anymore, so instead of approaching the Recycling On the Go tent, you just shove it into a trash can by the tree.

Why do event attendees seem to have “waste shame?” There seems to be a lot of pressure to always need to “do the right” thing, especially when others are watching.

Recycling On the Go, a program of St. Louis Earth Day, provides staffing services at over 60 events annually. They collect over 40 tons of material through recycling and composting, creating jobs and useful products for our local economy. We set up collection stations and attendees bring their waste to us where they can see first hand how different items can be diverted away from the landfill.

Paper cups: what?
A paper cup is engineered to resist breaking down in the presence of liquid. They are lined with wax or plastic, making it impossible for paper recyclers to pulp them. They gum up the works.

Why don’t they like us?
Human behavior is interesting to observe. We’ve seen attendees dodge around us, sneaking into the back of our tents to throw all of their material in a trash barrel, rather than facing the intrepid staff and volunteers in the tent. Even when they do come up to the tents, they are just as likely to take their pile of trays, utensils, leftover food, and plastic sauce packets and dump them upside down quickly into our tubs as if they do not want us to see their waste!

There is no reason to feel food/waste shame! We’ve seen it all and truly want to support you and keep unnecessary bulk out of the landfill.

By nature, special events are designed for creating waste, so by coming to the event you are supporting, and creating, waste. Waste has to go somewhere and if people are going to make it, then fortunately Recycling On the Go is there. Our services remove, on average, 69% of that waste at events through recycling and composting. The really good events achieve numbers of over 90% waste reduction, like our St. Louis Earth Day Festival.

So the next time you attend an event where food is served, look for Recycling On the Go. Stop by and say, “Hello!” Proudly walk over to our tent without feeling any shame. We will gladly take your food waste from you and make sure it goes to its best next use!

City of Clayton Boasts 50% Recycling Diversion

By Stephen Herring

The City of Clayton is located near the intersection of Hwy 64/40 and I-170 with a population of over 15,000 people. In the city, sustainability and recycling is a huge area of focus and in 2016 they are currently posting a 50% recycling diversion from trash rate.

The city is a mix of suburban and city living with 11 beautiful parks that are frequented by residents and neighboring communities. In the parks, only trash containers were in place and strategies to incorporate recycling hadn’t come to fruition until 2016.

In partnership with Republic Services, the longtime hauler for trash, recycling and yard waste, the City pursued a grant with the Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) to help with funding a new recycling initiative for the parks.

Selected in 2015 to receive funding the city of Clayton purchased 24 beautiful green 50-gal recycling containers to be placed through the network of parks. Once placed Republic Services provided a recycling dumpster at each park and assists with quarterly reporting of diversion weights. Republic Services collects and recycles around 4.5 Tons (9000 lbs) of co-mingled recyclables each quarter.

The City of Clayton is very happy with the look and participation of the public in using these new containers and plans to expand the program with more containers in the future.

This program would not have been possible without the funding made available by the Solid Waste Management District.


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
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