Our waste reduction and recycling activities can make a difference.
Ten years ago very few waste haulers offered curbside recycling, and trying to find recycling centers was like going on a scavenger hunt. Now it has become almost a faus paux for businesses to not provide recycling opportunities to the public.
Recycling material is one of the easiest and best ways to help protect our environment. Products made from recycled materials save anywhere from 30 - 95% of the energy costs, reduce pollution, and prevent natural resource destruction as opposed to creating these same products from raw materials.
We all know there are benefits from recycling and using recycled materials, but many people do not realize just how much of a difference it makes. More than $600 million of aluminum alone was thrown into landfills last year across America .
Recycling just one 12-ounce aluminum can will save the energy equivalent to a half a gallon of gasoline as compared to creating that same can from raw ore. When put in those terms it is easy to see how much of a difference each person can make and how even the smallest contributions make a big difference.
What Is The City Doing?
Because recycling and landfill diversion is important, the City of Independence is providing multiple opportunities for its employees and residents to make a difference.
One of the goals we have incorporated is the 80-23 proposal by the Missouri Solid Waste Division of the greater Kansas City area. Simply put, the goal is that all members of the MSWD divert 80% of their solid waste from landfills by the year 2023 through recycling, composting, using reusable products and other practices.
In the first year of this program, Independence along with other industries within the city were able to divert nearly 5,000 tons of materials from landfills which equates to a diversion rate of about twelve percent.
Independence partners with Abitibi Bowater for co-mingled recycling to handle the needs of the departments and buildings owned by the City. This replaced our program of recycling only paper products. It allows employees to throw all recyclable materials into one container. Employees recycled 26 tons of material in just six months.
Independence residents can now recycle their unwanted or broken electronics, computers and appliances year-round at both of the City Recycling Centers. Almost anything with a cord or a battery will be accepted. Some older model televisions have a fee; all other items are free.
The Public Works Department expanded the Asphalt Recycling program. Now the City uses between 30 and 50 percent recycled asphalt when paving streets. The City also implemented a "green purchasing policy" allowing the City to make more environmentally friendly purchases while still remaining fiscally responsible to our citizens.
What You Can Do!
Recycle at Home
Ask your local trash service if they offer curbside recycling and what products they accept.
You can also call the Independence Public School System at (816) 521-5300 to find a nearby school that has a paper or co-mingled bin where you can drop off your recycled goods.
Remember that Independence has two City Recycling Centers located off 35th street west of Noland Road, and north of Truman Road on Vista Dr, just east of 291 Highway.
Recycle at the Workplace
Ask your employer about starting a recycling effort at your office. Even the simple act of recycling paper alone can save almost 200 pounds of waste from landfills per person every year.
Many companies provide recycling bins for free, or charge only when the bin is emptied. Most companies will create a pick-up schedule to suit your company needs. Some reimburse you for the goods collected, allowing the program to "self-sustain."
If the program will not work for your company you can still set up a paper recycling bin at your own desk. Then empty it on your way home at one of the bins located at local schools and churches.
The City of Independence operates two Recycling Centers. To find location, hours of operation, or for more information on what can be recycled and hazardous materials, visit our Recycling Center web page!
A one-stop-shop for everything recycling in the Kansas City region. This Website contains information for hundreds of service providers, businesses and local communities.
Created by the Paper Industry Association Council (PAIC), this web site offers a how-to when creating recycling programs for your office, school and community.
Fostering solutions through strategic partnerships. NRC initiates partnerships between global business leaders and local governments to provide profitable and enviornmentally innovative solutions to waste reduction.
Make Every Day Earth Day!
EPA created the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) to help solid waste planners and organizations estimate the energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions from several different waste management practices. iWARM is the consumer version of WARM – it helps you understand the energy saved by recycling small quantities of common household products, rather than landfilling them. iWARM uses the same energy factors as WARM to provide the relative energy savings from recycling rather than landfilling. The energy savings are translated into the equivalent amount of electricity, estimating how long that amount of electricity will operate a variety of household appliances.
The latest publication from the EPA describing the national waste stream based on data collected from 1960 through 2008. It contains information on the benefits of recycling, as well as data on waste generation, recycling, and disposal. It's also accompanied by data tables that present detailed data that is produced each year. Aso included is a summary of our methodology for developing this data.
Preserving Resources, Preventing Waste. WasteWise helps its partners meet goals to reduce and recycle municipal solid waste and selected industrial wastes.
The Solid Waste Management Program works hard to help all Missourians better manage their solid wastes. Through the cooperative efforts of citizens, businesses, industry and government, Missouri can continue to increase material reuse and recycling from all solid waste sources. Contact the planner for your local solid waste management district.
MRA supports waste reduction and recycling efforts in Missouri by providing information, educational opportunities, and technical support in partnership with state, national and regional organizations.