The holidays are over and now you face the chore of putting away the decorations and disposing of your cut Christmas tree. Disposing of the tree is no longer the simple task of dragging it to the curb and having it hauled away with the trash. On Jan. 1, 1992, it became illegal for Missouri landfills to accept yard wastes or Christmas trees.*
Christmas tree disposal does not need to be a problem. Several environmentally sound disposal methods for Christmas trees are available.
One way of disposing of a tree in an environmentally sound way is to use a chipping machine to chip it up for landscaping mulch.
Many municipalities provide their residents chipping service to assist with recycling Christmas trees. You may want to check with your local public works department.
If you have a fishing pond, Christmas trees can be used to improve fish habitat. It is easy to prepare your Christmas tree for use as fish habitat. Tie a cement block securely to the stump end of the tree with quarter-inch nylon rope. If you have a boat, you can drop your tree any place you wish in your private lake or pond. Make sure that the water is the correct depth to cover the top of the tree by no more than four to six feet.
More tips are available in the How to Dispose of Christmas Trees fact sheet.
For more information, please visit the Solid Waste Management Program Website.
*The Columbia Sanitary Landfill (CSLF) is the one notable exception to the yard waste rule. CSLF is permitted as a bioreactor and by statute are allowed to accept yard waste.
Recycling competitions promote waste reduction, reuse and recycling services
Recently, the city of Parkville bet the city of Riverside that their community could get the most residents to participate in collection events for electronics waste, household hazardous waste and paper shredding. Parkville won and Riverside Mayor Kathy Rose attended a Parkville Board of Aldermen meeting to cheer the greatness of Parkville.
This year, the Mid-America Regional Council Solid Waste Management District — Region E, organized contests between local governments as part of their Recycling Rivalry to encourage waste reduction and recycling.
Currently, Palmer Recycling and Lake of the Ozarks Solid Waste Management District — Region T is sponsoring a recycling drive pitting Mack’s Creek elementary students against each other to see who recycles the most paper, magazines, phonebooks, aluminum cans and cardboard. Local businesses, such as Thompson’s Country Store, CMC Recycling of Springfield and the Old Time Café, are participating by providing prizes for the winners.
On Nov. 18, Lee’s Summit held an internal Clean Out Your Files Day. Sugar Creek held a similar event on Nov. 22–23. Many organizations and local governments hold file-cleanout events as a way to responsibly recycle paper.
If you would like more information, please visit the Solid Waste Management Program Website.
For additional information, visit:
Schedule of Local Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
Reduce. Reuse, Recycle
Scrap Tires and Illegal Dumping
Household Hazardous Waste
They thought they were getting away with it, but illegal dumpers in the Kansas City area have been finding out lately that their trips to some dump sites around the city over the past two years have been secretly taped by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Twelve individuals have seen their day in court and have paid fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 per dumping incident as a result of being identified in some of the more than 50 cases that were caught on concealed cameras placed by the department at known dump sites in the city. In addition to those 12, several bench warrants have been issued for failure to appear and several suspects have court dates pending. The department continues to work with local authorities to bring charges against several suspects who have yet to be identified or cannot be located.
One individual was fined $500 for dumping five scrap tires that would have cost him about $15 if he would have disposed of them properly. Another person was fined $750 after dumping a refrigerator on the side of the road – two blocks away from a recycling facility. Department staff continue to work with local agencies to identify and locate those caught on camera.
Concerned organizations and agencies such as the Kansas City Neighborhood and Community Services Department, Kansas City Police Department, city and county prosecutors and several others have worked cooperatively with the department.
The project is reaching its fifteenth anniversary and has helped many counties prosecute those who decided to leave their waste on the side of the road instead of taking it to a permitted facility. Project staff cover the entire state providing assistance to local agencies. Multiple types of equipment are used, ranging from cameras that can read a license plate at more than 150 yards to some cameras that are as small as a golfing tee.
Several of the dumping videos are available online at http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/dumping-videos.htm. Higher quality illegal dumping video clips are available to broadcast media outlets. To download the video clips, contact Victoria Lovejoy at 573-526-1837.
For more information regarding illegal dumping or to report illegal dumping using the department’s online form, please visit http://dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/dumping/enf_instruct.htm or contact the department’s Solid Waste Management Program at 800-361-4827 or at 573-751-5401.
The Department of Natural Resources is hosting a public meeting Dec. 8 on the proposed stormwater permit renewal for Buckman Laboratories in the Washington County town of Cadet.
The department is proposing to renew Buckman Laboratories’ permit to authorize discharges of stormwater runoff in the area of its facility. Concern from the public that the permit renewal was related to a wastewater permit prompted the department to schedule a meeting to clear up the issue.
The department issues stormwater permits to protect waters from pollution caused by runoff from land and paved areas during rains or snow melts. Stormwater discharges at industrial facilities are regulated if they come into contact with materials storage areas, production processes or equipment storage. These discharges could potentially contain pollutants that could adversely affect water quality and therefore require coverage by a permit from the Department of Natural Resources.
The meeting on the stormwater permit for Buckman Laboratories will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Kingston K14 High School Cafeteria, 10047 Diamond Road, Cadet.
Studies over the years have found trace amounts of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in drinking water supplies. Scientists are concerned about the effect these pharmaceuticals are having on the environment and wildlife. It is important to properly manage pharmaceutical waste to minimize any potential for adverse health effects to individuals from exposure to these substances in their drinking water.
Flushing medicines can harm the beneficial bacteria that break down waste in septic systems and wastewater treatment plants. Municipal wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove all the ingredients from the medicines in the treatment process. Help us keep Missouri’s land and water resources safe by reducing the amount of pharmaceutical waste you generate and learning how to properly dispose of any leftover medications.
To help reduce pharmaceutical waste:
- Take prescription medicines as directed.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription or other medicines.
- Only purchase and use essential pharmaceuticals.
The Proper Disposal of Household Pharmaceutical Waste brochure has more information regarding drug disposal.