The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


January 17, 2013

Our View: Bill trashes effective program

— Area residents recently dropped off old computers, televisions, VCRs and other electronic gadgets at the Joplin Recycling Center.

Thousands and thousands of pounds of electronics were recycled at no charge to residents who were looking to unload an old TV or dead keyboard. Better yet, it kept these items out of our landfills. In some cases, the items were fixed and someone else is getting new life out of what was once someone else’s junk.

The event was sponsored here by the city of Joplin and the Region M Solid Waste Management District. The district, on behalf of Joplin, recommended that the recycle and reuse day be held and paid for through state grant money. It assists cities throughout the region in helping residents recycle old tires, hazardous waste and many other products that have no business in a landfill.

There are 20 such districts throughout Missouri that were formed in the 1990s with the purpose of reducing the amount of trash that goes into our landfills.

Money to fund the local programs comes from tipping fees paid by waste haulers. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources also receives a portion of those tipping fees.

But if Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, gets his way, all 20 of those solid waste districts will be dissolved and local control over the disbursements of grants will go directly to the DNR.

Carthage and Joplin have formally passed resolutions opposing Schaefer’s pre-filed bill that would put decisions on where grants go into the hands of the DNR.

Schaefer, former general counsel and deputy director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, won’t return the Globe’s calls so we can find out why he thinks eliminating the districts is a good idea. Nor will DNR return our phone calls about this story so we can find out how it would oversee projects throughout the state. Of course we are used to the DNR not returning calls. It is increasingly unresponsive to public need, often citing cuts within its departments as its excuse.

Schaefer’s bill, if passed, would destroy recycling programs that are already in place. We have little confidence that DNR, an agency bogged down by bureaucracy, would adequately disburse grants here in Southwest Missouri, and the money ultimately would get gobbled up by red tape.

Let’s not undo 20 years’ worth of good work.

Text Only
Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

A Missouri Senate committee has adopted a state budget provision that would prevent public colleges and universities from offering in-state tuition rates to students living in the country illegally. Do you agree with this?

     View Results
NDN Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers