Chillicothe Municipal Utilities, in conjunction with Hope Haven Industries, have provided curbside recycling to the residents of Chillicothe since 1991.
During that time, more than 10,000 tons of cardboard collected from commercial accounts, over 5,000 tons of residential paper and over 1,000 tons of aluminum and plastic recyclables have been diverted from the landfill and placed back into the consumer consumption stream.
“That’s not pounds, that is tons,” said Troy Figg, director of refuse for CMU. “The community has done a great job with the recycling program and we hope to keep it in place for years to come.”
Recycling in our community provides the consumer with thee positive outcomes. First, it saves money by deferring the landfill costs and putting the material back into use. Second, it is good for the environment. Third, it provides the workers at Hope Haven with an opportunity that they may not have in the regular workforce. CMU picks up the recyclables along with the residents’ trash on the appointed trash day of the week.
“We have always asked our residents to separate their trash into three separate compartments,” Figg explained. "The first being regular trash in the orange bags, the second being residential paper such as newspapers and magazines, and the third being recyclable plastic and aluminum cans. If the recyclables are placed in a plastic bag, we ask that the tops be left open so the refuse workers can see what is inside."
CMU collects number one and number two plastic. This can be observed on the bottom of the container and finding the universal recycling symbol, which consists of three arrows forming a triangle. The number on the plastic container will be inside the triangle.
Glass has been a problem for a number of years in regards to the logistics of getting it to a viable market. The North Central Missouri Solid Waste District has obtained a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to build a concrete bunker that creates a location in which residents can transport their glass. The facility and location is planned to be in place by June. Ripple Glass, a glass company in the Kansas City area, has agreed to help Chillicothe with the transportation of recycled glass.
At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, CMU, the Chillicothe R-2 School District and the Chillicothe Development Corporation launched a program to promote recycling in the schools. A recycling bin was placed in every classroom in the district, as well as Bishop Hogan Memorial School. Each week, the bins are dumped into a central container at the schools and CMU transports the recycled paper to Hope Haven.
Anyone interested in purchasing a recycling bin may stop by Hope Haven or the CMU offices during regular business hours. The cost is $5, and all of the proceeds go to Hope Haven for their support of the recycling program.
Page 2 of 2 - “The citizens of Chillicothe have taken full advantage of the recycling program we have in place,” Figg said. “The results have helped keep the cost of refuse disposal down.”