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America Recycles, and so does Springfield

Every day, Springfield generates eight to twelve hundred tons of solid waste. Most of that waste ends up buried in a landfill, but about one third is diverted from the landfill by a variety of recycling efforts. The City of Springfield operates four recycling centers. By city ordinance, private waste haulers also offer curbside recycling to residential customers. And many area businesses recycle so much cardboard, they keep a special dumpster for it. While Springfield's recycling rate has been increasing for the last decade, so has the amount of trash generated by people in the city. That's something Barbara Lucks would like to see change. Lucks is Materials Recovery and Education Coordinator for the City of Springfield's Solid Waste Management Division. She says less land would be devoted to landfills if more people recycled.

For a monthly fee, private waste haulers accept paper, plastic, glass, metals, and cardboard in their curbside recycling programs. Recycling these items is free at Springfield's recycling centers. The city collects about 32-hundred tons of recyclable material a year. This is sold to companies that use recycled material in the manufacture of goods. Lucks says metal and paper is sold to local businesses.

Recycling these bulky materials helps conserve landfill space. But the city also recycles household items that may threaten the environment.This includes motor oil, antifreeze, batteries, and pesticides. Lucks says any item labeled "hazardous" should stay out of the trashcan and be brought to the household chemical collection center.

The city also accepts yard waste. Lawn clippings and leaves are composted and brush is chipped into mulch. Both compost and mulch is sold back to the public on the site. Barbara Lucks visits area businesses and schools to talk about recycling. She says she spends a lot of time convincing people that recycling is not difficult.Springfield's recycling centers are located at 731 N. Franklin, 3020 S. Lone Pine, 2525 W. College, and southwest of town, off Farm Road 164. For directions, hours and other information, call the City's recycling otline at 864-1904. For KSMU news, I'm Jenny Fillmer.