Tag Archives: Missouri

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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Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park Grand Opening in Pleasant Hill, Missouri

On a chilly afternoon in December, a large crowd of supporters and enthusiasts gathered in downtown Pleasant Hill, Missouri, to witness Governor Jeremiah (Jay) Nixon cut the ribbon to dedicate the Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park — the former Rock Island Railroad bed converted to a 47.5 mile crushed-rock trail — that connects to the famed Katy Trail at Windsor, Missouri and continues across the state to St Louis.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and trail supporters cut ribbon at dedication of Rock Island Spur

The Rock Island trailhead is located at 308 W. Commercial street adjacent to the Cass County fairgrounds. The city of Pleasant Hill has been positioning itself to be a ‘trail town’ in preparation for this marked progress.

“The opening of the Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park is a historic moment in our community,” said Mayor Chris J. Hicks. “Our residents and businesses have waited for many years to see this day. We are ecstatic to be the western anchor to the newest state park and cannot wait to welcome trail riders to our hometown. On this monumental day, we also look to future developments of the Rock Island Trail corridor by our many partners.”


To complement the Rock Island trail, Pleasant Hill has constructed the MoPAC trail — stretching from the state trailhead northwest to Pleasant Hill City Lake. City leaders and partners have supported the Rock Island trail’s development for years, and recently new businesses have opened in anticipation of trail-related tourism.

Plans are underway to extend the path from Pleasant Hill  all the way to the Truman Sports Complex in Jackson County by 2018. Once complete, the county’s leg is expected to tie in to the heart of the MetroGreen™ Regional Greenway system’s more than 350 completed miles, making it possible to ride or walk from Kansas City to St. Louis.

View our Rock Island Spur grand opening Flickr album »

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New initiative calls for public input on watershed planning

Graphic for Lower-Missouri Crooked Watershed blog posts. Contains "Our Missouri   Waters" initiative logo, Missouri Department of Natural Resources logo, and partner   regional planning commission logos for Mid-America Regional Council, Green Hills   Regional Planning Commission and Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission.This post is the first in a series about the Lower-Missouri Crooked River Watershed planning process.

Missouri has abundant and diverse water resources rivaled by few other states in the nation. The quality of life for each Missourian is closely tied to the health of our waterways and other natural resources. Ensuring that today’s residents and future generations can enjoy Missouri’s waters is an important part of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ (MDNR) mission. As it works to create a rich legacy for the state’s waters, MDNR recognizes that the agency can’t do this important work alone. MDNR’s “Our Missouri Waters” effort brings together an engaged local citizenry and good science to improve and maintain healthy waterways.

Rather than focusing on regulation, the Our Missouri Waters initiative seeks to share information and build relationships and understandings necessary to maintain healthy watersheds. Residents of area counties are invited to participate in a watershed planning process for the Lower Missouri – Crooked River Watershed. This planning effort is led by the three regional planning commissions located within the watershed — the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), Green Hills Regional Planning Commission (GHRPC), and Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission (PTRPC).

Local Advisory Committees will meet in each of the three regional planning commission areas, and we invite you to participate. (See the meeting schedule below.) Each committee will work with local stakeholders and a team of professionals to identify issues, explore possible solutions, and help develop criteria to guide the planning effort. Work will focus on local areas and the watershed as a whole through June 30, 2016, resulting in a healthy watershed plan. Those interested are asked to complete a survey on watershed issues, and review a PDF of background information on the existing conditions of the watershed.

Meeting Times and Locations

  • Dec. 10, 2015, 10 a.m.–noon, Carrollton Library, Basement Meeting Room, 1 N Folger St., Carrollton, MO 64633: Green Hills Regional Planning Commission for Caldwell and Caroll counties.
  • Dec. 16, 2015, 46 p.m., MARC conference center, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64105: Mid-America Regional Council for Cass, Jackson, Johnson (KS), Ray and Wyandotte (KS) counties.
  • Dec. 17, 2015, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Lexington City Hall, 919 Franklin, Lexington, MO 64067: Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission for Johnson, Lafayette and Saline counties.

Map of Lower Missouri - Crooked River Watershed with area of detail

Your participation is important to the project. We encourage you to be engaged in the entire planning process and help create a healthy watershed plan that meets the needs of your community and the future of the watershed for generations to come.

Contact Information

Alecia Kates, Water Quality Planner, Mid-America Regional Council
816-701-8233 • www.marc.org
600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64105

Randy Railsback, Executive Director, Green Hills Regional Planning Commission
660-359-5636 X11 •  www.ghrpc.org
1104 Main Street, Trenton, MO 64683

Ruth Anne Parrott, Environmental Planner, Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission
660-463-7934 • www.trailsrpc.org
PO Box 123, 802 S. Gordon, Room 102, Concordia, MO 64020

Our Missouri Waters initiative web page, Missouri Department of Natural Resources

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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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Local governments and utilities are doing their part: diesel emission reduction in Kansas City

This the third post in a five-part series about diesel emissions reduction in the Kansas City area. Follow along for more information about how schools, railroads and private-sector companies are working to make Kansas City’s air cleaner.

DERA-Blog-local-govtLocal governments and utility companies typically maintain a large fleet of heavy-duty trucks and equipment to maintain critical infrastructure. Many government fleets have begun including some vehicles that run on biodiesel fuel, and a few governments in the region — including Kansas City, Mo., and Johnson County, Kan. — are building alternative fuel fleets using compressed natural gas and plug-in electrical power. However, almost all utilities and local governments still use a lot of diesel equipment.

In recent years, city operations and maintenance programs have worked diligently to balance purchasing new equipment — equipped with the latest emissions controls and technology — with the need to pay for other services and investments. Equipment maintenance is extremely important, since cities need to get more working hours out of older equipment while still responding rapidly and effectively to citizen needs. As part of this ongoing maintenance, many city leaders have committed to retrofit older equipment to reduce harmful emissions and improve air quality.

Nearly all funding for the diesel retrofits installed on government and utility vehicles has come from the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Clean Diesel Campaign under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). Most of the retrofits involve the same two types of emissions control devices discussed for buses: Diesel Oxidation Catalysts (DOCs) which capture 20–30 percent of tailpipe emissions otherwise released from the muffler; and Closed Crankcase Ventilations systems (CCVs) which reduce emissions another 5–19 percent.

Some cities have opted to retrofit a few vehicles with more expensive — but more effective — diesel particulate filters (DPFs) instead of DOCs. DPFs have a highly reactive filter which collects 90 percent or more of the particulate emitted from the engine.  A number of fuel operated heaters (FOHs) have also been installed on heavy-duty diesel trucks which are needed during critical winter operations. FOHs reduce warm-up time and get vehicles on the road more quickly during winter storms.

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