Photo Caption:NO TRASH: Oregon County Recycling Center Manager Larry Brock reminds county residents the recycling center does not accept trash. He says recyclables should be sorted and placed in the bin in front of the center.
THAYER -- Trash is being dumped illegally at the Oregon County Recycling Center and center manager Larry Brock says it has to stop.
"After every weekend we come to work and the trash dumpster is running over with bags of trash," Brock said. He said the dumpster at the recycling center is for company use only, and the center does not accept trash. "We are a recycling center. We do not take trash from businesses or households," Brock said.
The Oregon County Recycling Center is located at 1 Taylor Street in Thayer and is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It is manned by three full-time employees.
"Anyone in the county is welcome to bring their recyclables to the center during business hours or even on the weekend. We ask that they be bagged and sorted and placed in the receptacle in front of the building on the weekends," the recycling center manager said.
He said the center accepts several types of recyclables including the following:
Plastics: water and soda bottles, milk jugs, juice containers and soap bottles. Brock said they need to be rinsed clean and no styrofoam will be accepted.
Aluminum cans: whole or smashed, they must be clean.
Glass: clean food and beverage bottles and jars only. Remove caps and lids. Whole items only. No broken glass, no dishes and no window glass.
Tin cans: must be rinsed clean.
Corrugated cardboard boxes: boxes need to be clean, dry and broken down flat.
Paper: junk mail, magazines, newspapers and food boxes. Paper must be clean and dry and set in a separate recycling bag.
Brock said there are some items the center does not accept, including tires, siding, old carpet and trash.
The recycling center is one of the first and has been one of the most successful in the state.
It was started in mid-October 1994 after a grant was awarded to the county for $99,960 from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The grant went toward the county buying equipment and hiring personnel to start the recycling operation. Oregon County was one of the first counties in the state to received such a grant from DNR.
In 1994 Southern District Commissioner Billy Joe Madden served as the Oregon County Recycling Association chairman and is credited with much of the success of the program.
On Nov. 28, 1994, individual recycling bins were placed around the county and on Dec. 5, 1994, curbside recycling collection began.
The passage of Senate Bill 530 in the early 1990s mandated that all counties and cities in Missouri with a population of more than 500 or more achieve a 40-percent reduction of waste by Jan. 1, 1998. Oregon County was one of the first counties in the state to meet the mandate.