MRPC News Release

Photos of each awardee and one group photo attached. Photo cutlines at the end.
For immediate release
Dec. 8, 2015

For more information, contact
Jill Hollowell or Tammy Snodgrass at (573) 265-2993



ORSWMD gives regional awards for environmental efforts


ST. JAMES—The Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) recently honored a public employee, local non-profit organization, citizen volunteer and associate commissioner at its annual meeting Dec. 1. Each year, Ozark Rivers bestows awards on individuals and organizations that help the district meet its goal of reducing solid waste by 40 percent through a commitment to recycling and waste management.

“The actions of these individuals and organizations are crucial to building and maintaining the momentum of recycling and environmental awareness,” said Brady Wilson, chairman of ORSWMD. “Those honored are making a positive impact on our communities.”

Those honored were Duane Gavisk, The Community Partnership Resale Shop, Treva Imes and Gary Hicks.

Phelps County Tough on Trash Coordinator Duane Gavisk has been caring for the roadways for many years and offered support and supplies to community members who expressed an interest. Gavisk takes great pride in his work to keep the roadways litter free and has grown the Adopt-A-Highway program up to 17 groups. He is well known for cleaning up roadway dumpsites, keeping roadways clear and making trips to the Rolla Recycling center. His peers at the Phelps County Road Department nominated Gavisk.

The local non-profit recipient was the Community Partnership Resale Shop in Rolla. The shop has served the Rolla area as a low-cost thrift store, providing a place to shop, recycle and re-purpose donations from donors that may otherwise be in landfills. The shop receives household goods, clothing and shoes, furniture, books, electronics, all types of media, toys and more. Proceeds from the inventory serve families and children with disabilities; young parents facing life challenges, youth aging out of foster care and provides a venue for youth to gain job skills through volunteer programs. Valerie Fuller and Ann Renner nominated the resale shop.

The third award went to the citizen volunteer Treva Imes of Maries County for her T-shirts to Tote Bags program. Imes re-purposes t-shirts and other items into tote bags for displaced families, foster children and abused women who are accustomed to receiving a plastic shopping bag to hold their possessions. Imes expresses her passion through her leadership role with a mission team, comprised of 400 churches. She was nominated for her dedication for waste reduction and re-purposing by her fellow Master Naturalist Judith Dudley.

The fourth award went to Phelps County Associate Commissioner Gary Hicks. Hicks was the driving force behind applying for a grant to procure recycling bins at county offices and recycling stations on each floor of the Phelps County courthouse for staff and visitors. He and the staff were commended for their leadership in recycling and solid waste management. Hicks was nominated by Brady Wilson and the city of Rolla.

The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. The district’s strategy for solid waste reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by MDNR involves intense education and increased recycling efforts in member counties and cities. MRPC provides day-to-day operation of the district and assists with a variety of implementation projects.

For more information about ORSWMD or recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers area, contact Tammy Sondograss,MRPC environmental programs manager, at 573-265-2993 or by email at tsnodgrass@meramecregion.org.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 24, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion.


Award winners edited: ORSWMD presented awards to (from left) Phelps County Associate Commissioner Gary Hicks, The Community Partnership Resale Shop represented by Martha Edwards, Treva Imes with T-shirts to Tote Bags and Phelps County Tough on Trash Coordinator Duane Gavisk for their environmental efforts within their communities.


Gavisk Awardee Cutline: Phelps County Tough on Trash Coordinator Duane Gavisk (left) accepted an award from ORSWMD Chairman Brady Wilson (right) at the Dec. 1 Annual Dinner for his environmental efforts.


Community Partnership Awardee Cutline: Martha Edwards (left) accepted an award on behalf of the Community Partnership Resale Shop from ORSWMD Chairman Brady Wilson (right) at the Dec. 1 Annual Dinner for the resale shop’s environmental efforts.


Treva Imes (left) of T-Shirts to Tote Bags accepted an award from ORSWMD Chairman Brady Wilson (right) at the Dec. 1 Annual Dinner for her environmental efforts within the community.


Phelps County Associate Commissioner Gary Hicks (left) accepted an award from ORSWMD Chairman Brady Wilson (right) at the Dec. 1 Annual Dinner for his environmental efforts.

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