Around 1990 the Missouri Department of Natural Resources initiated Senate Bill 530. This was a far reaching piece of legislation that affected all of us. It banned tires, appliances, yard waste, lead acid batteries, and used motor oil from landfills. Goals were also set for a 40% reduction in waste statewide. To facilitate this initiative Solid Waste Management Districts were set up to plan for recycling and have an overall waste strategy. We are in the Southeast Region, Region R.
Included in this bill was a grant provision tied to a tonnage fee for landfills. In effect each ton of garbage was charged a fee by the state to be paid by the landfills. This fee is figured in to the price transfer stations pay landfills unless the garbage is taken out of state, in which case the transfer station pays the fee directly to DNR. SFCEC pays the fee through the landfill. The Solid Waste Districts were then allotted a percentage of that money to give out through annual recycling grants applied for directly to the Districts. Initially, Region R typically had $10,000 to $20,000 to disperse throughout the District. In addition there were statewide grants administered by DNR. The money available for these was usually in the $2.5 million range with a $100,000 limit for most grants. As you can imagine these are VERY competitive.
In 1995 SFCEC applied and was awarded its first grant. This allowed us to build a storage building, purchase containers, and a downstroke baler. The grant was for $15,000 and our recycling efforts were underway.
Since that time SFCEC has typically applied for a grant in every other grant cycle from each entity. That meant that in alternating years we were applying either to the state or Region R as the need arose. A grant writer/recycling coordinator was hired and to the staffs credit they have been turned down for only one grant to date. Many grants were rated in the top ten in the state. That is very important since a minimum of grants are awarded in any one cycle.
SFCEC has, through that grant process, purchased a tractor trailer for hauling recyclables, built three large buildings for processing and storing material, purchased a recycling trailer for curbside pickup, a 1 ton truck, a bobcat, a compactor truck with separate compartments for trash, a horizontal baler, the previous mentioned downstroke baler, refurbished two recycling transfer trailers, and funded personnel for grant administration as well as employees to operate the equipment.
Two things came together to make our recycling efforts very successful. The first was, almost simultaneously, two plants opened in St. Louis that took large quantities of recycled material. Second, we were able to build a large building with the help of grants to store tractor trailer loads of loose recyclables. That paved the way for curbside recycling with the City of Bonne Terre being the first to utilize that service. Since then we have added Park Hills, Desloge, Farmington, and Bismarck to the list of cities that have either curbside pickup or drop off centers.
Initially we shipped the material in "TWO SORTS" or separations: Containers and Fiber. Recently the markets have allowed us to ship these in a single stream of material. This greatly simplifies the curbside process allowing the cities to pick up the material in regular trash trucks as opposed to specialized compartmental trucks. At the drop off center we still keep a few basic separations of material that comes in that way. Newspaper, cardboard, and office paper being three of those. We, however, do not sort out the material that comes in mixed.
We currently transfer about 15 tons of "Single Stream" per week to Resource Management in Earth City. We market about 60 tons of Cardboard per month through Central Paper Stock in North St. Louis. We ship clean newspaper to EnviroPak in Earth City. This company makes holders and containers out of newspaper. One item was the cup holder/trays for Super Bowl IIIIV. The waste paper is typically used to make toilet tissue and the office paper and other newspaper into recycled content paper. To close the loop we encourage purchasing recycled content paper whenever possible.
The used motor oil is used for reformulated industrial fuel. SFCEC has been using recycled petroleum products successfully for years.
The brush and yard waste are deposited on the mine tailings and used for erosion control and animal habitat.
That is a brief history of our Recycling Center. You can view some of our recycling partners on our PARTNERS page. Any suggestions or questions please feel free to contact us.
Contact us to keep your home or business free of waste.