The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 17, 2013

City to offer free trolley rides, tire disposal for Earth Day

By Debby Woodin

JOPLIN, Mo. — Free rides on Joplin’s Sunshine Lamp Trolley and free tire disposal are on tap for the city’s observance of Earth Day.

Residents and landlords in Joplin or in the Empire District Electric Co. service area can dispose of automotive passenger tires from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Joplin Recycling Center, 1310 W. A St. The center will accept up to 10 tires per household.

Commercial tires, those from large trucks or race cars cannot be dropped off. If commercial disposal is needed, the city’s recycling coordinator, Mary Anne Phillips, can help contract a company. She can be reached at 624-0820, ext. 501.

The tire disposal is funded by Empire District because it has the tires chipped to use for fuel at its power plant in Asbury. The utility has used more than 4.8 million tires for that purpose since 2002.

A number of other items can be dropped off at the center year-round for recycling.

Those include cardboard, fiberboard, magazines, books, office paper, newspapers, telephone books, plastic No. 1 and No. 2 bottles with necks, all colors of container glass, metal, packing peanuts, clean bubble wrap, No. 2 plastic shopping bags, ink jet cartridges and all batteries.

Computers, televisions and all electronic waste, except large photocopiers, are accepted all year. The recycling center is open to everyone, regardless of residency.

Limited household hazardous waste such as paint and chemicals is also accepted from residents of McDonald, Newton, Jasper, Barton and Vernon counties, though commercial hazardous waste is not. Disposal of the chemicals is funded by Region M Solid Waste Management District, the Department of Natural Resources along with the city of Joplin.

People also can take home packing materials, used books and magazines, compost and wood chips from the center or use a self-serve paper shredder at the center.

Free trolley rides will be offered Saturday and Monday to encourage people to consider using public transportation.

The free rides are offered for all the city’s route but does not include requests for deviated or door-to-door service.

 “We want to introduce the option of public transportation to our citizens,” said Robert Lolley, Joplin’s transportation coordinator in a statement. “It provides a convenient way to get around our city, and I hope people will take advantage of this free opportunity to ride Joplin’s transit system. After trying the service for a day, some may choose to leave their cars at home and use the trolley instead.”

Joplin began the public transportation system in 1998 when it provided five vans for the Metro Area Publictransit Service. The trolley service was added in 2007 with one route connecting downtown and Range Line. The city is now covered by three routes.

Regular trolley rides are $1 and deviated stops are available at $2. The trolley runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.