MISSOURIANS' EFFORTS TO REDUCE TRASH IN LANDFILLS
JEFFERSON CITY, MO,- Missourians are doing their part to keep solid waste out of landfills through recycling and other diversion activities. The department's annual report on waste diversion shows that Missourians kept an estimated 46 percent of their trash out of landfills in 2007.
This percentage is up from the 44 percent diverted in 2006 which was a slight decline from the all time high of 47 percent experienced in 2004. The drop in diversion in 2006 was attributed to the increase of storm debris placed in landfills after Missouri experienced severe storms. With the passage of Senate Bill 530 in 1990, a 40 percent waste diversion goal was established and has been exceeded each year since 2001.
While the estimated amount of trash generated statewide increased from 12.5 million tons in 2006 to 12.9 million tons in 2007, this rise can be attributed to an increase in Missouri's population. However, the Department of Natural Resources estimates 1.18 tons of waste per person was landfilled in the state in 2007, which is a decrease from 1.22 tons per person in 2006.
"This is good news for all of Missouri as natural resources are conserved, and materials previously thrown away are now being reused and recycled," Department of Natural Resources Director Doyle Childers said. "By educating the public about composting, waste reduction and purchasing recycled products, the amount of waste diverted should continue to rise and have a positive impact on Missouri's environment for years to come."
If you would like to reduce the amount of waste you generate, here are a few tips:
-avoid purchasing over-packaged products;
-buy concentrated products such as soaps and detergents;
-reuse cardboard boxes, plastic bags and paper sacks;
-bring a reusable bag to the grocery store rather than using the plastic bags;
-invest in durable, quality products rather than disposable ones;
-remove your name from the mailing lists of materials you no longer wish to receive;
-avoid on-line purchases that can be purchased locally;
-buy reusable containers while avoiding containers that can only be thrown away; and
-use sealable storage containers rather than plastic wrap.
Closing the loop on recycling also involves purchasing and using recycled materials. For instance, in 2007 Missouri newspapers reported using on average at least 50 percent recycled content in their newsprint. The department congratulates the following newspapers for exceeding the recycled newsprint content goal of at least 50 percent: the Columbia Daily Tribune used 94 percent recycled content; the Jefferson City News Tribune used 75 percent; the Joplin Globe used 66 percent; and
St. Louis Post-Dispatch used 64 percent.
Source: Missouri Department of Natural Resources
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