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Congratulations to our 2017 SWMD grantees!

photos of books, recycling receptacle and food waste/kitchen scrapsOne of the most important things the MARC Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) does is provide financial support to organizations on the Missouri side of our region for projects that reduce the amount of material we send to landfills. The district receives funding every year from the fees collected from the landfills and transfer stations in Missouri. Half of that amount is used to fund local waste reduction, reuse and recycling projects through a grant program. So far this year, we have awarded more than $407,146 to 11 grantees.

The 2017 grant projects so far include:

  • Avenue of Life:  $59,428 to support the fourth year of a regional mattress recycling program.
  • Bridging The Gap: $81,187 to provide one-on-one consultations and assistance to businesses interested in starting new or expanding existing recycling and composting programs.
  • City of Grandview:  $23,625 to purchase a recycling trailer for events and staffing for management and education.
  • Composting and Organics Association of Missouri: $8,202 to conduct a regional composting workshop.
  • Folk Alliance: $3,608 to support staffing, signage, and recycling and composting bags for the annual conference at the Westin Hotel in Kansas City.
  • Independence Avenue Community Improvement District:  $17,500 to purchase recycling containers and bags and provide recycling education on Independence Avenue in Kansas City.
  • Kansas City Chiefs: $21,981 to purchase dual containers to collect compostables and recyclables from fans.
  • Mid-America Regional Council:  $48,267 for Recycle More advertising and outreach.
  • Project Central: $120,708 to support the third year of consultations for school composting and/or recycling programs.
  • Scraps KC: $10,881 to provide support for a newly opened creative reuse store.
  • The Rehabilitation Institute:  $11,759 to support the sale of used books online.

We are very proud of our 2017 group of grant recipients and excited about their projects. The district could not accomplish its waste diversion goals without our grantees! Visit the Solid Waste Management District’s website to learn more about the grant program.

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Congratulations to our 2016 SWMD grantees!

Photos of past grantee projects, and/or district grant priority target materials. From top to bottom: Man deconstructing a mattress, receptacles for recycling and trash, used books, woman collecting food waste, bicycles.One of the most important things the MARC Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) does is provide financial support to organizations in our region for projects that reduce the amount of material we send to landfills. The district receives funding every year from the fees collected from the state’s landfills and transfer stations. Half of that amount is used to fund local waste reduction, reuse and recycling projects through a grant program. So far this year, we have awarded more than $515,000 to eight grantees. Another $70,000 in grant funding is in the final stages of being awarded.

The 2016 grant projects so far include:

  • Access Records Management: $50,000 to provide recycling services to businesses.
  • Avenue of Life: $51,140 to support the third year of a regional mattress recycling program.
  • Bridging The Gap: $80,000 to provide one-on-one consultations and assistance to businesses interested in starting new or expanding existing recycling and composting programs.
  • Dr. Joseph Martinich: $12,984 to produce a study on the economics of recycling for the Kansas City region.
  • Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences: $9,000 to improve the campus recycling program.
  • MRC Recycling: $5,000 for a baler to manage plastic material.
  • Missouri Organic: $206,233 to support infrastructure development for the placement of a food depackaging system (equipment that separates food items from their packaging material, including plastic and cans).
  • Project Central: $101,143 to support the second year of consultations for school composting and/or recycling programs.

We are very proud of our 2016 group of grant recipients and excited about their projects. The district could not accomplish its waste diversion goals without our grantees! Visit the Solid Waste Management District’s website to learn more about the grant program.

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MARC Solid Waste Management District awards luncheon recognizes regional leaders

Photo of people that accepted the MARC Solid Waste Management District's Special Recognition awards. From left, 2015 awardees Gabriella Sanders, JR Pesek, Alan Waterman and Marie Steiner.The MARC Solid Waste Management District held its 2015 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on Friday, Dec. 11, at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. Elizabeth Cline, the author of “OVERDRESSED: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” spoke about the lack of sustainability in the fast-fashion industry. The district also recognized several individuals and organizations that have made notable contributions to regional waste management and recycling efforts. See photos from the event on Flickr » The 2015 Special Recognition Award recipients include:

Individual Supporter — JR Pesek, Town and Country Disposal
The Individual Supporter award recognizes an individual who has made exceptional contributions and commitment to the district’s waste reduction and recycling efforts.
Public Employee — Jim Eldridge, Kearney, Missouri
The Public Employee award recognizes a public employee who has shown dedication to the development and advancement of waste reduction and recycling through individual achievement and commitment. Alderwoman Marie Steiner accepted the award on behalf of Jim Eldridge.
Outstanding Program — 909 Walnut
The Outstanding Program award recognizes an innovative or outstanding waste reduction or recycling program. Alan Waterman, general manager for 909 Walnut, accepted this award.
Every Little Bit Counts — Gabriella Sanders, The Greener Life Market
The “Every Little Bit Counts” award recognizes that small actions are meaningful.
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Congratulations to our 2015 SWMD grantees!

One of the most important things the MARC Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) does is provide financial support to organizations in our region for projects that reduce the amount of material we send to landfills. The district receives funding every year from the fees collected from the state’s landfills and transfer stations. Half of that amount is used to fund local waste reduction, reuse and recycling projects through a grant program.

We are very proud of our 2015 group of grant recipients and excited about their projects. The district could not accomplish its waste diversion goals without our grantees!

The 2015 grant projects are:

  • Avenue of Life: $203,492 to support the second year of a regional mattress recycling program.
  • Bridging The Gap: $79,740 to provide one-on-one consultations and assistance to businesses interested in starting new or expanding existing recycling programs.
  • City of Kearney: $5,700 to purchase a container to collect electronics at the Kearney Drop-off Recycling Center.
  • Kansas City Design Center: $30,000 to design a comprehensive, appealing and convenient recycling system for downtown Kansas City.
  • Meredith Car Sales & Recycling: $19,916 to purchase a trailer and hold at least 10 electronic recycling collection events in Cass County.
  • Missouri Organic: $4,000 to purchase carts and establish a paper towel composting program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus.
  • Missouri Recycling Association: $12,000 to support costs for a keynote speaker and AV equipment at the annual recycling conference scheduled for September in Kansas City.
  • Project Central: $47,044 to work with five schools to set up recycling and/or composting programs.
  • Southeast Enterprises: $12,000 to support transportation costs associated with a regional holiday light recycling program.
  • Sleepyhead Beds: $7,000 for staffing to conduct six mattress collection events and six presentations in the region north of the Missouri River. Sleepyhead Beds holds these events to collect quality used mattresses which are sanitized and provided to children in need.
  • The Rehabilitation Institute: $80,000 to collect and divert durable medical equipment from the waste stream. Equipment is then either repaired and made available for reuse, or recycled.
  • Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity ReStore: $49,434 to provide a truck and staffing at the Lee’s Summit Resource Recovery Park to capture reusable materials before they enter the landfill.

Visit the Solid Waste Management District’s website to learn more about the grant program.

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Creating Connections 2014

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The MARC Solid Waste Management District held its 2014 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. Amy Bond, CBRE, spoke about sustainability and recycling programs at the Sprint Campus as well as at Sprint’s nationwide real estate operations. The district also recognized several individuals and organizations that have made notable contributions to regional waste management and recycling efforts. The 2014 Special Recognition Award recipients were:

Individual Supporter — Angie Gehlert, Missouri Recycling Association

The Individual Supporter award recognizes an individual who has made exceptional contributions and commitment to the district’s waste reduction and recycling efforts.

Public Employee — Chris Bussen, Lee’s Summit

The Public Employee award recognizes a public employee who has shown dedication to the development and advancement of waste reduction and recycling through individual achievement and commitment.

Green Event — Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon

The Green Event award recognizes a special event that promotes sustainable practices. Stephanie Lankford with the Kansas City Sports Commission accepted this award.

Waste Industry — The Urban Lumber Company

The Waste Industry award recognizes outstanding waste reduction and recycling efforts for a business in the waste industry. Tim O’Neill accepted this award.

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How much trash do you send to the landfill?

trashThe answer depends on who you ask and how you define “trash.” There are two main sources for nationwide solid waste management data in the United States:

The two sources use different methodologies and as a result provide different answers to the question. The EPA determines the size of the waste stream using manufacturing production data, estimates of product imports and exports and estimated product life. Estimates for the generation of food and yard waste are based on sampling studies. EPA has used this methodology consistently for over 40 years, which allows for analyses of long-term trends. EPA defines “municipal solid waste” — or trash, as most of us call it — as everyday items such as product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, cans, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, consumer electronics and batteries. These items come from homes, institutions such as schools and hospitals, and commercial sources such as restaurants and small businesses. EPA’s definition does not include municipal wastewater treatment sludge, industrial process waste, automobile bodies, combustion ash or construction and demolition debris. The editors of BioCycle Magazine began a national survey in 1989 using state-gathered data from disposal, recycling and composting facilities. While this methodology uses actual tonnages, it should be noted that states do not define municipal solid waste consistently. For example, states often include non-hazardous solid wastes — such as construction and demolition debris and industrial waste — in their data, unlike the EPA. So, what is the answer to the original question? How much trash DO you send to the landfill?

  • EPA estimates that the average American produced 4.38 pounds of trash per day in 2012. About a third of that was recycled and the remaining 2.87 pounds were burned or sent to a landfill.
  • The latest BioCycle national survey, conducted by Columbia University, estimates that each person generated 6.84 pounds of trash per day in 2011. Again, approximately a third of that was recycled or composted and the remaining 4.86 pounds were burned or sent to a landfill.

Stay tuned for a post that will look closer to home and assess regional data to better answer this question.

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New Yard Waste Management Options for Jackson County

The MARC Solid Waste Management District administers an annual grant program that awards funds to local communities and organizations for waste reduction and recycling-related projects. From time to time, we publish updates about recent grant recipients.

In 2012, Jackson County received a $15,000 grant from the MARC Solid Waste Management District to survey residents living in the eastern part of the county to determine interest and need for a yard waste collection facility. More than 1,500 surveys were completed by residents of Blue Springs, Oak Grove, Lake Lotawana, Lone Jack, Grain Valley and the unincorporated area of the county. The findings of this survey indicated that residents:

  • Have a need for additional yard waste disposal services in the area.
  • Recognize the need to properly manage yard waste.
  • Believe local government should have a role in addressing yard waste management needs.

EJC Yard Waste SignAs a result of this survey, the county received $64,632 in grant funds from the district to support start-up costs for a regional yard waste drop-off facility. The site is located near Pink Hill and Ketterman Road in Oak Grove on land owned by Jackson County. The cities of Blue Springs, Oak Grove and Grain Valley collaborated with the county on the project.

The Eastern Jackson County (EJC) Yard Waste Collection Center officially opened on June 5, 2014. The facility collects leaves, yard clippings, tree limbs, brush and large tree debris.

For more information about the EJC Yard Waste Collection Center, including hours and fees, visit the county’s website or call (816) 847-7050.

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The birth of an icon

chasingarrowsMost people wouldn’t consider 44 to be a milestone number for celebrations, but we think a shout-out is appropriate to recognize the creation of the symbol that today is associated with everything pertaining to recycling, recyclable and recycled products.

In celebration of the first Earth Day in 1970, the Container Corporation of America sponsored a design contest. Art and design students at colleges and high schools throughout the United States were asked to design a symbol that represented the recycling of paper. The design was to appear on the company’s recycled paperboard products.

The contest winner was Gary Anderson, then a senior at the University of Southern California. Anderson’s concept for the symbol was inspired by a mathematician’s discovery that a strip of paper twisted once and joined at the ends formed a continuous single-edged, one-sided surface: a Möbius strip. The recycling symbol is comprised of three “chasing arrows” that join in a continuous loop, just like the Möbius strip. The three arrows also have significance, each representing a step in the recycling process: collection, manufacturing and purchasing.

The recycling symbol has remained unchanged since 1970, though you find variations to indicate whether an item is recyclable or is made from recycled content.  Its simplicity and concise message have made it a widely recognizable icon.

If you see a recycling symbol and would like more information about what it means, give us a call at 816-474-TEAM. If you want to find out if an item bearing the chasing arrows symbol can be recycled locally, visit RecycleSpot.org.

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How Much Does a Typical American Family Throw Out in a Week?

Glad-Waste-In-Focus-FamilyDo you know how much of your weekly household waste could be diverted from the landfill? The Glad Products Company recently took a closer look at eight diverse U.S. families as part of a public service campaign on household waste awareness, and the visual is rather eye-opening.

In a photographic study titled “Waste in Focus,” photojournalist Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio interviewed each of the families and sorted one week’s worth of household trash and recycling. The photos feature each family surrounded by items destined for the landfill or the recycling or compost bin.

The families, each with four members, live in Atlanta, New York City, Phoenix and San Francisco and are of different backgrounds and ethnicities. While this was not an exercise to compare the families to one another, there are a few interesting takeaways from the project:

  • The average amount of waste generated was 36.3 pounds for the week. Of that, 55 percent was destined for the landfill and 45 percent was a combination of recyclables and compostables.
  • The New York City families generated less waste; averaging 25 pounds for the week.
  • The San Francisco families averaged a 91 percent recycling rate. This is not surprising since San Francisco residents are required to separate their food waste for compost pickup rather than put it into trash destined for landfill.

Find out more about the project, view the photos and read each family’s story by visiting WasteinFocus. The site, in partnership with Keep America Beautiful, also includes a quiz and tips that can help you and your family reduce waste at home.

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Congratulations to our 2014 SWMD grantees!

One of the most important things the MARC Solid Waste Management District does is provide financial support to organizations in our region for projects that reduce the material we send to landfills. The district receives funding every year from the fees collected from the state’s landfills and transfer stations. Half of that amount is used to fund local waste reduction, reuse and recycling projects through a grant program.

We are very proud of our 2014 group of grant recipients and excited about their projects. The district could not accomplish its waste diversion goals without our grantees!

The 2014 grant projects are:

  • Avenue of Life: $173,371 to develop a regional mattress recycling program.
  • Bridging The Gap:  $23,900 to provide one-on-one consultations and assistance to businesses interested in starting new or expanding existing recycling programs.
  • City of Blue Springs: $5,100 to purchase recycling bins for four city parks.
  • City of Riverside, Mo.: $3,210 for marketing and vendor costs for the 2014 Northland Recycling Extravaganza.
  • Friends of the City Market: $20,000 to provide support staff to assist River Market vendors in separating food waste for composting.
  • Grain Valley School District: $7,800 to start a food waste composting program in two schools.
  • Jackson County, Mo.: $64,632 to support start-up costs for a regional drop-off yard waste facility.
  • The Rehabilitation Institute: $31,240 to purchase a truck for transporting collected books to support the third year of a successful book recycling project.
  • Ripple Glass: $6,380 for a traveling educational display to encourage glass recycling.
  • Southeast Enterprises: $8,500 to support transportation costs associated with a regional holiday light recycling program.
  • Trozzolo Communications Group: $195,075 to develop a regional recycling education and marketing campaign.

Visit the Solid Waste Management District’s website to learn more about the grant program.

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