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Thursday was America Recycles Day where all over the United States communities spent time celebrating and informing their area about how important it is to recycle. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers goes in-depth with what recycling in Springfield, MO has to offer.
Cathy Boyer quickly unloads all of her glass and mixed paper goods into separate large green bins located next to each other at the recycling center on Franklin Avenue. She says she uses this place all of the time.
“It is clean. It is always very nice… This is a low amount for me this is just a low day because we have been out of town but I normally I bring once a week just to keep it out of the house just because it is just so easy to do,” said Boyer.
The City of Springfield itself has four recycling centers. Two are for typical recycling needs such as mixed paper, aluminum, glass, and plastic. One of the centers is designed specifically for household chemicals and another center specifically for yard waste.
Barbra Lucks is the sustainability officer for the Department of Environmental Services with the City of Springfield. She says that Springfield is very fortunate because we have city-run recycling centers and an additional listing of over 125 places that take various recyclable goods.
“We shouldn’t just send everything to the trash. We should only send it to the land fill those materials that can be re-used or recycled elsewhere. That will allow for more time and more space and the landfill can really be used for what it was intended for,” said Lucks.
After people drop off their recycled goods, the City of Springfield has contracts with several private companies who then re-use the materials to make other goods. For example, the recycled mixed paper products are sent to a local company called Yesterday’s News that makes animal bedding and litter products. All aluminum and plastics are locally bailed, making it easier to transport and creating 30 jobs for the Springfield area.
“If you look at a milk jug, there are besides the natural and human resources it takes energy to make that, you can use that material again in that same form to make another product then all of those investments are already in there so they don’t have to be made again. There are some significant energy saving and energy conservations that comes about from using recyclable materials,” said Lucks.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the energy conserved by recycling just one plastic bottle can light a 60-watt light bulb for six hours or power a computer for 25 minutes.
All city-run recycling centers and a list of what they take is on our website, KSMU.org.
For KSMU news, I’m Shannon Bowers.
View Recycling Centers in a larger interactive map