Private businesses are stepping up to help with recycling and other environmental initiatives.

Private businesses are stepping up to help with recycling and other environmental initiatives.

Ted’s Trash Service will become at least the third trash company serving Independence to offer curbside recycling when it jumps into the game on June 1, joining AAA and Allied Waste.

All three take substantially the same items: newsprint and office paper, plastic, pop cans and soup cans, cardboard and paperboard, such as cereal boxes. (The not-to-recycle list is pretty straightforward. First, no glass. It’s a safety issue when recyclables are sorted out. Also, aluminum foil doesn’t recycle well. And, yes, a pizza box is made of cardboard, but it’s going to have grease and cheese on it, so pitch that one in the trash. If it has food on it or in it, don’t recycle it.)

There’s more at stake here than convenience. Recycling is about both saving the planet and saving money for consumers. The fundamental environmental issue with landfills is clean water, that is, keeping undesirable stuff from leaching into the ground and eventually reaching the water table. That’s why over the years rules on landfills have become stricter. That’s reflected in dumping fees paid by trash haulers, and that ultimately affects the cost of taking a bag of trash from your curb to its final resting place.

Recycling, of course, extends the life of a landfill, and Independence Mayor Don Reimal pointed out Friday at a Ted’s ribbon cutting that as local landfills close, trash would be hauled farther away. That means more gas, higher hauling costs and higher trash bills.

Curbside recycling is huge. There are drop-off sites all over the metro, but experience across the country has shown that alone will not get recycling rates as high as officials want. The Mid-America Regional Council is pushing for a metrowide recycling rate of 80 percent within 12 years. (The city of Independence roughly estimates it’s at about 26 percent.)

MARC has a handy website, and at it offers a good deal of information. For example, enter “resident” and “Blue Springs” and up come drop-off sites, waste haulers, yard waste haulers and places to take household hazardous wastes. There’s also an extensive list of places – including household names such as Office Depot, Staples and Best Buy – that will take cell phones; PDAs; circuit boards’ computer monitors, printers and peripherals; copies; fax machines; scanners; TVs; printer and toner cartridges.

One oversight on the MARC website: It leaves out IBS Industries, which provides jobs for adults with developmental disabilities and whose Eco Care service at 1100 S. Yuma Ave. in Independence (off Truman Road, east of Missouri 291) takes general recyclables (plastics 1, 2 and 3, aluminum and tin can, office paper, cardboard and chipboard) as well as cell phones and PDAs plus computer keyboards, mice, towers and work stations. It takes monitors and printers for a fee. Call 816-595-1670. IBS is also working with Ted’s, taking the recyclables from the drop-off center Ted’s just opened at its office at 10900 E. Truman Road.