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.
Mattresses damage landfill equipment and do not easily compress, taking up about 23 cubic feet of space each. Fortunately, mattresses are 100 percent recyclable. They are made of foam, polyester, cotton, metal, wood and shoddy (reclaimed wool fabric), all of which can be re-manufactured into other products.
When you recycle or donate your mattress you can support organizations that do more than keep mattresses out of landfills. Avenue of Life helps low-income individuals and families break the cycle of poverty by providing jobs to those with barriers to employment, and Sleepyhead Beds provides clean, recycled beds and bedding to children in need. These organizations have partnered with each other to make sure all mattresses they receive are donated back to families or recycled. Avenue of Life collects all mattresses recycled at Courtney Ridge Landfill, Excelsior Springs Recycling Center and Lee’s Summit Resource Recovery Park.
The MARC Solid Waste Management District administers an annual grant program that 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.
Most of us will likely have a few mattresses throughout our lifetimes. What did you do with your last mattress after you bought a new one? Instead of throwing out an old mattress, you can do something good for kids in the Kansas City region and for the environment.
If your old mattress is still in reasonable shape, with no noticeable stains or structural problems, you can donate it to Sleepyhead Beds. Sleepyhead Beds is a local organization that takes gently used, unwanted mattresses and sanitizes and sterilizes them for redistribution to children in need. The organization also accepts donations of clean, gently used sheets, comforters and pillow cases.
In 2013, Sleepyhead Beds received a grant from the MARC Solid Waste Management District to purchase a truck and hire a driver to expand its program for collecting and redistributing beds and bedding. This helped Sleepyhead Beds redistribute more than 1,600 mattresses and 1,200 pounds of bedding. If you lined up those mattresses end to end, they would stretch over two miles!
Reusing mattresses also saves a lot of time and energy since recycling them can be very difficult. Plus, any mattress that ends up in a landfill takes up a lot of space. If the 1,600 mattresses redistributed by Sleepyhead Beds were all twin-sized they would take up 27,000 cubic feet, or enough space to cover a basketball court eight times. (That would make it much easier to dunk!)
To learn more or to arrange a donation, visit Sleepyhead Bed’s website.