The Joplin Recycling Center will hold composting demonstrations and other events on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11-12, in honor of America Recycles Day, which is set for Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Mary Anne Phillips, recycling coordinator for the city of Joplin, said they take in between 500 and 700 tons of recyclable material annually at the center.

Phillips also said most households can cut their waste stream by more than half through recycling and composting.

"Usually we say 60 percent," she said.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both days, Joplin residents who come to the center at 1310 W. A St. can pick up a free welded-wire compost bin along with an instructional brochure and a sample bag of “SproutFaster,” an organic fertilizer made from worm "castings" or waste. Products will be available while supplies last.

During those hours, Master Gardeners and Missouri Master Naturalists also will demonstrate and answer questions about recycling yard and kitchen waste into compost and the benefits of using natural or organic fertilizers.

Philips said organic fertilizers, which are usually carbon based and not harmful to people or the environment, can be found in area as well as petrochemical-based fertilizers, which can contribute to pollution of waterways.

Residents also will be given instructions on making a dog waste digester from a plastic garbage can or bucket and lid. It works similar to a miniature septic system. Dog waste digesters are beneficial to homeowners, neighbors and the environment because they prevent rainwater from washing the waste and bacteria into storm drains and polluting waterways.

The Joplin Recycling Center is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.

The center takes mixed paper (junk mail, office mail, etc.), cardboard, newspapers, metals (scrap and aluminum), plastic shopping bags, packing materials (packing peanuts and bubble wrap), household hazardous waste, electronics, container glass and batteries.

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