Sunday, March 2, 2008
New Recycling Center Location Chosen
I saw a news item the other night about some phosphorescent clouds that had been forming over the East coast in the last month. The clouds literally “glow” during the nighttime hours. Scientists at NASA investigated the phenomena and discovered that the clouds are made up of carbon and methane gases trapped in the upper atmosphere. The “glow” is enhanced by ice crystals formed in the clouds at extreme altitudes. The final verdict, the clouds are a side effect in our atmosphere of global warming. Methane gas is a by-product of decomposing waste in landfills. To keep debris at landfills from creating a toxic swamp, landfill operators “vent” the area by driving pipes deep into compacted layers of trash and debris. This allows the methane gas to escape into the atmosphere. Cattle are also large creators of methane as they digest their food. It is doubtful that most people will become vegetarians to help the environment, but there is something that can be done about landfills. Every sheet of paper, every metal can, and every plastic container that is recycled lessens the effect of waste disposal on our planet. The Raytown Recycling Committee recognizes this simple fact and has plans to do something about it. This Tuesday, the Committee will take its case to the Board of Aldermen to relocate the city’s recycling center. After a thorough search of locations throughout Raytown the Committee chose to return the Recycling Center to where it was first opened – the Public Works Garage located at 6417 Railroad Street. The location is centrally located and easily accessed from Raytown Road. The lot is fenced, well lit and secure. It can easily be monitored to control illegal dumping. It also holds the possibility of increased hours of operation in the future. Since the city owns the property, there will be no rental or insurance costs incurred. The Committee has found that the market for recycled material has changed dramatically over the last ten years. By changing vendors who haul off the recycled material, the Committee estimates the city will earn up to $5,000 annually (based on current activity at the center). With approval of the location, the Recycling Committee will have accomplished one of its two goals. The second goal, as directed by Mayor David Bower, is to create a comprehensive recycling program for all of Raytown. Alderman Greg Walters, who is Chairman of the Committee, says the Committee has entered into discussions with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) to learn how other communities are moving forward with such programs. “Raytown has a unique opportunity to take advantage of many grants and programs to kick-start curbside recycling”, said Walters. “The Committee plans to bring a proposal to the Board of Aldermen either this Spring or early Summer.” Timing is important. Under Missouri State law, changes in how a city collects and disposes of residential waste, require a two-year notification of the public. According to Walters, the notification process is the next hurdle to be cleared in moving a recycling program forward.