Garbage Can be Green!
Waste service provider Republic Services Inc. has been heavily invested in recycling and other green initiatives, in Chesterfield and other cities it serves, since the mid-1990s.
The company is involved in sustainability projects across the country, including food waste, school recycling, community recycling rewards, renewable energy and landfill habitat projects.
Stephen Herring, marketing recycling coordinator for Republic Services Inc., said the company “has been the proud service provider of trash and recycling services in Chesterfield since the city first awarded the municipal solid waste contract in 1990.”
The current rate for once-per-week curbside trash and recycling pick up is $40.53 per quarter. In addition, a 10 percent senior citizen discount is available for residents aged 65 and older. Optional services include yard waste collection (which is collected on the same day as trash) and recycling.
In Chesterfield, the company serves more than 12,000 homes. The recycling program accepts materials including: plastic containers, metal containers and all types of paper.
“Through the years, we have consistently provided outstanding services and been an engaged member of the community,” Herring said.
“Republic Services is the only waste hauler in the St. Louis area to own and operate its local recycling facilities,” Herring said.
“The largest of our recycling facilities is located in Hazelwood,” Herring said. “This facility processes over 300 tons of recyclable material each day.”
Republic also has transitioned a majority of its truck fleet from diesel to CNG (compressed natural gas) – Chesterfield was the first city to be hauled exclusively by Republic’s CNG vehicles.
“CNG vehicles are 90 percent quieter than a typical diesel vehicle and offer 95 percent fewer tailpipe emissions than diesel vehicles,” Herring said.
He praised Chesterfield which, since recycling services began in the mid 1990s, has consistently been one of Republic’s leading cities when it comes to diverting materials from landfills.
“The average rate of recyclable versus trash is around 25 to 30 percent in the St. Louis area and Chesterfield is around 40 percent diversion (through recycling) yearly,” he said. “As for specific recyclables, I can’t provide a breakdown as the material is all combined at our sorting facility. For tonnage over the past three years, Chesterfield has recycled over 14,000 tons of recyclable material (about 4,700 tons per year).”
The City of Chesterfield and its residents are always looking for new opportunities to be environmentally sustainable, Herring said.
“Starting Saturday, April 2 of this year, Chesterfield residents will have the ability to recycle textiles curbside,” he said.
“This program has been made possible through a partnership between USAgain and Republic Services and Chesterfield will be the first city to have this service available in the Midwest. On the first Saturday of the month, USAgain will pick up any bagged textile material placed at the curb, ensuring the materials stay out of landfills. A reminder call a few days in advance will be made by Republic Services call blast software.”
Every year, Republic Services participates in various community events all over the St. Louis area to help with similar recycling efforts.
“In Chesterfield specifically, we were involved in Taste of St. Louis, Chesterfield Earth Day and America Recycles Day, just to name a few,” Herring said. “Last year, Republic Services participated in over 100 community events and provided tours of our recycling facility to over 700 people.”
Anyone interested in taking part in a recycling material recovery facility tour can contact Herring at: SHerring@RepublicServices.com.
Tours are free of charge; the minimum age to attend is 10 years old and children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Those taking the tour can see how high-tech recycling equipment allows Republic to quickly process materials so they can be sent to different markets around the country and overseas for remanufacturing into new products.
Residents can always do more to help green initiatives be more effective in keeping trash out of landfills.
“The best advice I can give to help Republic Services is to pay attention to the lists of accepted materials,” Herring said.
“Many materials that you may believe are recyclable can actually cause issues at our sorting facilities. If you do not have a current list of recyclables, one can be picked up at City Hall (690 Chesterfield Parkway West).”
“Chesterfield has one of the strongest levels of participation of all our cities, and we are very pleased with their participation and interest in recycling,” Herring said.