Ozark County Recycling Center Helps Make Every Day Earth Day

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Thursday is Earth Day, a time when we celebrate our beautiful planet and reflect on how we are helping it continue to be our healthy home in the universe. Ozark Countries are helping this effort by delivering waste and recyclables to the Ozark County Recycling Center on County Road 502 in Lilly Ridge.

“It’s a great asset to the county,” said Gary Collins, Eastern District Commissioner for Ozark County, who was also a commissioner in the early 1990s when the recycling center opened here. Collins is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the South Central Missouri Solid Waste Management Board, which oversees recycling efforts in Ozark, Howell, Oregon, Douglas, Wright, Texas and Shannon counties under the oversight of the Department of Natural Resources. Missouri.

“It’s something that helps keep our county clean. This keeps a lot of garbage off our roads, ”Collins said. “So many people use it. It’s unreal how it’s picked up, how busy it is. I am proud of the way it is used. “

The recycling center is open from 6.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Monday to Thursday. School principal Eric Lee said he and his colleague Michael King accept newsprint and office paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum and cans, plastic milk jugs, plastic soda and water bottles and other plastics marked # 1 and # 2, as well as appliances, including washers, dryers, refrigerators and microwaves.

The recycling center does not accept computers and other “electronic waste”, mattresses, styrofoam, furniture, construction waste or “slick” paper such as magazines and junk mail.

Televisions are accepted for $ 3, toilets for $ 2 each. The center also accepts household garbage for $ 2 per bag.

Waste should be bagged, and recyclers are also encouraged to sort paper, plastics and metals into bags, Lee said.

Call the recycling center at 417-679-3444 for more information on what is accepted and what is not accepted and what fees are charged.

A longtime recycler

Michelle Pointer, a Gainesville resident, is one of the Ozark County Recycling Center’s most frequent customers, and she’s also a long-time supporter of recycling in general.

Michelle said the recycling bug “bit” her 31 years ago when she lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, near Boston.

“There, everyone recycled. Whether you are at home, in the office or in a restaurant, there were always two bins – one for garbage, one for recycling, ”she said in an email to the Time. “It was the first time I met people who recycle and the first time I thought about it. In the Boston area, it was easy to recycle, and I was amazed at how little trash I had once I started recycling.

After she and her husband David Pointer moved to Kansas City, she continued to recycle, although the city did not have a curbside recycling pickup at the time. “I picked up my recyclables at home and returned them every week to a collection site set up in the parking lot of the local mall,” she said. “I volunteered at this site for several years while we were living there. I helped people unload their cars and put their items in the large containers. “

When the Pointers moved to Ozark County, where David opened a law firm and Michelle became a teacher in Gainesville, “I was delighted to hear about the Ozark County Recycling Center,” Michelle said.

As the founder and co-sponsor of the Youth Empowerment Project at Gainesville High School and Junior High, Michelle started a recycling program in school and in ball parks. After receiving a grant from the Ozark County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, YEP members purchased recycling bins for schools as well as bags for the bins and plastic shields to put under. the bins to protect the ground.

“We also purchased white milk crate-type containers for every classroom in elementary, secondary and secondary schools. The crates were intended for teachers to collect paper for recycling, ”said Michelle.

YEP members then put together the class handout with help from another high school organization, the Future Business Leaders of America. Club members also prepared all recyclables for pickup, and someone from the recycling center picked them up every week – a limited service that the center offers to large recyclers, mainly Gainesville businesses and the school.

After 11 years as a co-sponsor of YEP, Michelle stepped down from her position last year. The school’s recycling program continues, but is now run by students in the conservation class, taught by Amanda Skaggs.

In addition to years of recycling paper, metal, and plastics from her family and the Pointer law firm, and helping students learn about green practice, Michelle has also helped friends, colleagues and parents to start recycling.

One of her favorite gifts to give to friends is three bins that are suitable for “Wal-Mart type bags,” she says, “one for plastics, glass, and tin / aluminum.” This way, they can easily tie up the bags when they are full.

The bags of recyclable materials are then easy to throw in the car to be taken to the recycling center, she said.

“I can’t imagine not recycling,” Michelle said. “For me, it’s important to keep control over landfills. When I travel and have to put a can or a bottle in the trash, it hurts. I’m thinking about how long he’ll be in a landfill. “

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