The Missouri Solid Waste Law was passed in 1972 and required local governments to plan and implement sound solid waste management practices. This law created the framework for the how solid waste (garbage) is managed in Missouri today. While this law has been amended several times since its passage; it was Senate Bill 530 (SB 530) passed by the Missouri legislature in 1990 that created a new focus on increasing resource recovery, decreasing the volume of waste going to landfills, and encouraging regional planning for solid waste management.
SB 530 created a process for one or more counties to form a solid waste management district that would be responsible for developing and implementing a local solid waste management plan. As a result, Missouri’s 114 counties organized into 20 solid waste management districts across the state. In 1990, Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties formed the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Solid Waste Management District. Ray County joined the district in 1995. The district now serves five counties and more than 80 cities in Missouri.
Although the district is made up of local governments in Missouri, cooperation and involvement across the state line is essential. The district works cooperatively with Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.
As envisioned by SB 530, one of the district’s primary functions is to bring local governments together to coordinate, plan, and implement changes in how we manage our solid waste. The district developed its first solid waste management plan in 1994. As many of the original plan’s objectives were met, the district began to identify annual priorities and strategies through an annual strategic planning process. In 2009, the district embraced an ambitious goal to diverting 80 percent of the solid waste we generate from landfill disposal.
SB 530 also levied a landfill tonnage fee to create Missouri’s Solid Waste Management Fund. This fee is assessed on every ton of waste that is sent to a Missouri landfill or is transferred to an out-of-state landfill. Missouri allocates the funds to the 20 districts based on a formula that takes into account population and landfill tonnage fee generation (i.e., money collected from landfills located within the district). The MARC Solid Waste Management District receives an annual appropriation of approximately $800,000 from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to fund plan implementation, waste reduction, reuse, and recycling projects.
The district represents the overall interest if its members through a 14-member Executive Board and a Management Council made up of local elected and appointed officials. The Management Council provides overall policy direction to the Executive Board. An Advisory Committee composed of waste management and recycling service providers provides technical assistance to the Management Council. The Mid-America Regional Council provides administrative services and staffing to the district under an annual Memorandum of Understanding.