This week, the Cassville Democrat staff is joining many area businesses to promote local recycling and waste reduction efforts. According to the Missouri Recycling Association, around $70 million has been invested in Missouri's recycling infrastructure over the last 15 years. The recycling industry has expanded Missouri's economy more than $10 billion per year, and waste disposal fees have provided more than $50 million in grants and loans for over 1,000 projects.
Partnering with the Southwest Missouri Solid Waste District, local school districts and businesses have secured grants to expand recycling efforts locally. Both the Purdy R-II School District and the Exeter R-VI School District offer recycling programs that are open to the community at least once a month. All Points Recycling, a local recycling business, has also partnered with the agency to expand services offered to the Barry County community.
Currently, MARCK Industries is putting the final touches on a new recyclable product warehouse on Sale Barn Road in Cassville. This facility will help the company better serve local businesses interested in recycling large amounts of paper and cardboard products. Metal recycling services are also available locally through Rebel Recycling and RPM Slinkard's. These services not only allow area residents to dispose of unwanted products but also give community members an opportunity to earn an extra dollar or two while recycling.
We would like to commend the local organizations and businesses that offer recycling services to our community and the businesses and industries that take advantage of these valuable services. We would also like to urge local residents to utilize recycling services by attending a community recycling day at a local school or dropping off recyclable products at one of our local recycling businesses.
The Purdy High School Spanish Club offers a community recycling event on the first Saturday of each month. The club accepts aluminum cans, cardboard, #1 and 2 plastics, sorted white paper, catalogs, magazines, junk mail, used books, used cell phones, feed bags, newspapers and tin cans. This year, the club also began accepting drained oil filters.
The R-VI School District's recycling program, which is operated by the Exeter High School FFA and student council, also offers community recycling events each month. The district's facility is open from 8 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of each month. Students accept cardboard, plastic bottles and aluminum cans. The district also recycles several thousand pounds of product collected at the FASCO plant in Cassville each year.
Community members who don't have time to collect their recyclables and drop them off during a community collection event or take them to a local recycling business can take advantage of recycling opportunities available through waste disposal companies. This year, Allied Waste began offering its Cassville customers single-stream recycling, which gives local residents an opportunity to recycle products without sorting. Products placed in an Allied Waste provided recycling container are picked up at the curb once a month.
We encourage area residents to take advantage of one of the recycling efforts offered in our local community sometime over the next few weeks. In addition to improving the future of our environment, local recycling efforts help support the Barry County economy and many area student programs.