Monday, September 20, 2010

Being Green

Any environmental conscience statistic or answer I get that’s in the billions tells me something impressive is going on – so when I heard that the Missouri Department of Transportation has recycled more than 8.4 billion pounds of waste since 2005 I about fell off my chair. Click here for news release.

MoDOT has recycled in two ways in order to get to the 8.4 billion pound mark. The first involves industrial waste coming from mines, steel furnaces and power plants. This waste that normally goes directly to landfills has been collected and recycled, which over the past 5 years has totaled 3.56 billion. I called a few landfill managers here in Missouri and I found out 3.56 billion pounds of waste would fill the Empire State Building 4 times! To recycle is one thing, but to do it so aggressively that it removes the equivalent of 89,000 semi-truck loads from area landfills is another.

The biggest way MoDOT recycles is by reusing material. Instead of throwing away concrete and asphalt from old projects, we use the material again on new projects. Since 2005, MoDOT has recycled 4.86 billion pounds of reclaimed material that goes directly to new construction projects. This not only saves our environment, but saves taxpayer money too. I’m sure many of the highway miles you travel on contain reclaimed material.

It’s good to know that billions of pounds of waste are not sitting in a landfill and my tax dollars are getting used wisely when state roads get improved. Being environmentally aware is a good thing to be and I’m glad MoDOT is a leader when it comes to being green.