Congratulations to our 2015 SWMD grantees!

One of the most important things the MARC Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) does is provide financial support to organizations in our region for projects that reduce the amount of material we send to landfills. The district receives funding every year from the fees collected from the state’s landfills and transfer stations. Half of that amount is used to fund local waste reduction, reuse and recycling projects through a grant program.

We are very proud of our 2015 group of grant recipients and excited about their projects. The district could not accomplish its waste diversion goals without our grantees!

The 2015 grant projects are:

  • Avenue of Life: $203,492 to support the second year of a regional mattress recycling program.
  • Bridging The Gap: $79,740 to provide one-on-one consultations and assistance to businesses interested in starting new or expanding existing recycling programs.
  • City of Kearney: $5,700 to purchase a container to collect electronics at the Kearney Drop-off Recycling Center.
  • Kansas City Design Center: $30,000 to design a comprehensive, appealing and convenient recycling system for downtown Kansas City.
  • Meredith Car Sales & Recycling: $19,916 to purchase a trailer and hold at least 10 electronic recycling collection events in Cass County.
  • Missouri Organic: $4,000 to purchase carts and establish a paper towel composting program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus.
  • Missouri Recycling Association: $12,000 to support costs for a keynote speaker and AV equipment at the annual recycling conference scheduled for September in Kansas City.
  • Project Central: $47,044 to work with five schools to set up recycling and/or composting programs.
  • Southeast Enterprises: $12,000 to support transportation costs associated with a regional holiday light recycling program.
  • Sleepyhead Beds: $7,000 for staffing to conduct six mattress collection events and six presentations in the region north of the Missouri River. Sleepyhead Beds holds these events to collect quality used mattresses which are sanitized and provided to children in need.
  • The Rehabilitation Institute: $80,000 to collect and divert durable medical equipment from the waste stream. Equipment is then either repaired and made available for reuse, or recycled.
  • Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity ReStore: $49,434 to provide a truck and staffing at the Lee’s Summit Resource Recovery Park to capture reusable materials before they enter the landfill.

Visit the Solid Waste Management District’s website to learn more about the grant program.

Harvesters: diminishing hunger and reducing waste

The MARC Solid Waste Management District administers an annual grant program which awards funds to local communities and organizations for waste reduction and recycling-related projects. From time to time, we publish updates about recent grant recipients.

In 2012, the district awarded a grant to Harvesters Community Food Network, which serves a 26-county service area in northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas. The organization is well-known in the Kansas City region as a clearinghouse for collecting and redistributing food and household products. Last year, Harvesters distributed more than 41 million pounds of food and household products to food pantries and soup kitchens to help those in need.

Much of Harvesters’ product comes from generous donations of perishable food from food manufacturers and produce operations. For the most part, this is food doesn’t meet the standards of grocery stores but is still edible. Unfortunately, some of the produce that Harvesters receives is no longer edible and is not for distribution to its network of partner agencies.

Food-waste-gleening-300x185The inedible food used to leave the warehouse through the trash, but Harvesters wanted to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. Harvesters successfully applied for a district grant to change how it manages unusable food donations. The grant funds were used to build a concrete pad and gravel drive that allowed for placement of an additional, separate container for discarded food. The funding also purchased roller bins and provided staff training.

Once considered trash, discarded food is now collected and composted by Missouri Organic Recycling. During the first year of operations with its new sorting process, Harvesters diverted more than 600 tons of food to be composted. According to Chief Operating Officer Norm Bowers, the project was successful because Harvesters had the support of its board and staff, and a plan in place to begin diverting produce.

Over the next 10 years, Harvesters projects it will divert more than 4,000 tons of perishables and produce from disposal.

The Solid Waste Management District is proud to support Harvesters in this effort and help the organization reach its goal of a reduced environmental impact.