Missouri State Fair to offer recycling to fairgoers

Friday, July 4, 2008 | 2:39 p.m. CDT; updated 10:54 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

SEDALIA -- After chowing down funnel cakes and cold drinks at the Missouri State Fair in August, people will be able to recycle some of their trash during the 11-day event.

Officials at the annual event plan to set up 50 recycling bins where cup or cans can be placed, cutting down on the 263 tons of trash generated last year.

The bins will be placed next to regular trash barrels.

Fair Director Marion Lucas said the program is a good, ripe idea because people are more environmentally conscious than ever before.

"I think the fairgoers are going to think, 'Hey, this is the right thing to do. Let's pitch in and help.' I hope that's they way they think about it," Lucas said.

Cynthia Mitchell, resource development adviser for Midwest Assistance Program, approached the fair about instituting the program. The Midwest Assistance Program helps small, rural communities and tribal nations with development needs, including solid waste management and recycling.

Mitchell, who has recently been working on special event recycling, said the fair would be an ideal place to promote proper waste management, because it draws 300,000 to 400,000 people. This year's fair is Aug. 7-17.

"The State Fair would be a great venue because of the number of people who come through there, and the opportunity to recycle, and just to get the promotion of the idea of recycling incorporated into the fair," Mitchell said.

Lucas said the fair tried a recycling program more than a decade ago, but it failed because people put too much trash inside the recycling bins. He said signs and the bright red containers with a cup-sized hole should clear up confusion this time. The bins were donated by Anheuser-Busch Recycling and County Distributing.

"You should look at them quickly and see it's not for trash," he said.

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