Dec. 6, 2011
For immediate release
For more information, contact:
Tammy Snodgrass or Bonnie Prigge (573) 265-2993
Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District honors leaders in recycling, solid waste efforts
ST. JAMES—The Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District honored several individuals and one organization for their commitment to recycling and waste management at its Nov. 29, 2011, annual meeting at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission in St. James. Each year, the solid waste management district recognizes a few individuals who are helping the district to meet its goal of reducing solid waste by 40 percent and showcasing them as examples to the regional community.
Those honored by the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste District for their work to recycle and protect the environment were: (Front row) Ginny Pherigo of St. James, Julie Wilson of Rolla, Scott Murrell, Ozark Rivers chairman, and Jill Steckelberg of Hermann; (Back row) Danny Pherigo of St. James, Terry and Brenda Williams of Rolla, Craig French of Fort Leonard Wood, Dwight Warnke of Rolla, and Christopher Newcom of Cuba.
“Best practices for solid waste management must start with individuals,” said Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC’s assistant director/environmental programs manager and ORSWMD administrator. “Planning and programming will only go so far in making a difference in the amount of trash that we landfill. The real heroes are the people who go above and beyond – whether it be in their homes, schools, businesses or organizations - to reduce waste, start recycling programs, clean up dumpsites and make a difference in their communities. We’ve had 1,415 people volunteer to help clean up dumpsites in the region. That’s why the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District has a public recognition program – to make sure those folks know that their actions are important and appreciated,” she added.
Those honored with awards of recognition at the 2011 banquet were:
- Dwight Warnke of Rolla for his dedication as an environmental educator at Rolla High School. Warnke serves as advisor to the RHS EcoClub and has taken students on field trips to the Rolla Recycling Center and the Phelps County Transfer Station. He has also led students on environmental cleanup projects and organizes the Sustainability Event Day at the high school.
- Meramec Electrical Products Co., Inc. of Cuba for its efforts to recycle 100 percent of its cardboard, paper and pressboard, diverting more than 10,000 pounds of waste per month from landfills. The company also recycles 100 percent of ABS plastic spools, scrap steel, copper and aluminum. Christopher Newcom, production management assistant, accepted the award.
- Jill Steckelberg, owner of Jillsie’s Bistro & Boutique of Hermann for her recycling efforts through her business. Jillsie’s uses only recyclable and biodegradable materials for takeout orders as well as washable dishes, silverware and kitchen supplies. Staff cooks with environmentally friendly food and cleans with nontoxic chemicals. Steckelberg is also an avid recycler at home.
- Craig French of Fort Leonard Wood for his management of the fort’s recycling program. The recycling program continues to grow and make a profit, diverting waste from the landfill at an overall rate of 47 percent. This diversion of waste saves taxpayers more than $1.3 million in 2010. By selling recycled materials, a mini-golf course was constructed for use by military families. French’s recent innovations include the expansion of white paper pickup, a household products reuse project for families and a recycling incentive competition.
- Julie Wilson with Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla for her solid waste management and sustainability effort on the university campus. Wilson has increased efficiency with campus solid waste services, reducing the waste bill by approximately $40,000 annually. Wilson also has initiated campus participation in Recyclemania, enacted the recycling program overhaul, expanded the recycling collection, storage and handling and developed the “Adopt-A-Building” recycling program that increases awareness.
- Ginny Pherigo and family of St. James for their maintenance of County Road 3430, which they adopted in July of 2009 in memory of Lee Bushie. From the beginning of adoption, the family has exceeded requirements by the Phelps County Tough on Trash Program and often requests more bags than are provided for their cleaning efforts. and
- Terry and Brenda Williams of Rolla for their work by adopting one mile of Phelps County Road 5190 since May of 2009. Phelps County Tough on Trash Program requires pick up of trash quarterly, but the Williams have a much greater commitment to keeping the road clean.
The awards banquet followed a meeting of the Ozark Rivers full council where MRPC Fiscal Officer Linda Loughridge presented the June 30, 2011, district audit, performed by Kean & Company CPAs. The auditors found all financial aspects of the organization in order and delivered a clean audit opinion. In other business:
• Nongluk Tunyavanich, MRPC staff, reported 16 grant applications have been submitted to the district for a total of $228,407.90 with the total available funds of $263,874.57. Fourteen projects have been approved by the district and submitted for DNR final approval for $204,407.90. A workshop is scheduled Dec. 15 at MRPC for grant award winners.
• Staff noted the contractor for the Ozark Rivers’ website is on schedule to complete development and launch the website in December. The council approved a request by staff for the grant to cover an additional six months of contracting for any website follow up issues that may occur.
• Chairman Scott Murrell updated the council on activities of the statewide Solid Waste Advisory Board. SWAB members in St. Louis and Kansas City would like to re-open the solid waste law, which authorizes tipping fees. Murrell reported the cities would like to adjust the formula for distributing funds. It was the consensus of the board that it would not be appropriate to re-open the law at this time.
Several grant projects were awarded an extension, which will allow more time to complete the necessary work.
The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. Scott Murrell of Fort Leonard Wood serves as chairman of this organization. The Meramec Regional Planning Commission provides administration for the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District. For more information on the solid waste management district or MRPC, please visit www.meramecregion.org or contact Snodgrass at (573) 265-2993.