Osage City Kiwanis’ recycling program highlighted in national service competition – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Osage City Kiwanis’ recycling program highlighted in national service competition

By Dave Azwell

Kiwanis International sponsors a “Signature Service Project” competition for Kiwanis Districts across the U.S. Kiwanis Clubs submit information concerning their signature service project that they perform during the year.

Each district selects one project to represent their district in the competition. Osage City Kiwanis Club has been named as the representative for the Kansas Kiwanis District in this year’s competition. The overall winner is announced at the Kiwanis International convention.

The Osage City Kiwanis’ signature service project is the operation of a weekly miscellaneous paper recycling project in conjunction with the city’s recycling program. It has been the Signature Service Project for more than 30 years.

Originally started as a last Saturday of the month citywide and surrounding area pick-up, it has expanded to twice a week pick-ups plus the Saturday pick-up. Paper is collected from local homes, businesses and anyone in the surrounding area who needs it which amounts to 10-12 miles every last Saturday per truckload and many miles locally on Monday and Friday pick-ups.

Two bins for miscellaneous papers, magazines and shredded paper are provided by the city and are located at the city maintenance yard. Osage City Kiwanis members empty the bins twice a week on Monday and Friday mornings at 7:30 a.m. into a semi trailer located in the maintenance yard. It takes approximately ½ -1 ½ hours each morning to complete the process. The city has provided two semi-trailers, used on an alternating basis – a loaded trailer is sent, an empty trailer is returned. City workers bring the bins to the trailer where club members unload them. Transportation for the loads of paper to the recycling company is provided by local trucking companies and independent drivers. The city and club provide a token payment to help defray trucking costs.

Osage City Kiwanis continues its original paper recycling service project which still functions on the last Saturday of each month starting at 9 a.m. Club members and local volunteers drive around the city and area to collect miscellaneous papers, magazines and shredded paper that have been placed at curbside.

Homeowners, businesses and others have been doing it so long that it’s almost automatic. Very little promotion is done other than calendar listings in the local news media as a reminder of the upcoming pick-up dates. Shredded paper is placed in a container such as a plastic bag while other papers or magazines are put in paper sacks, bundled in twine, boxed up or in plastic bags. The collected papers are then taken to the trailer and unloaded. It takes approximately 1 1/2 hours each Saturday.

On the last Friday of the month, Osage City Kiwanis-sponsored Key Club, Builders Club and K-Kids at USD 420 schools collect papers and magazines from their schools, which local Kiwanis picks up. Additional pick-ups are made at other locations around the city and county as needed.

Several shipments to the paper recycling company are made each year, which amount, on average, to 60-80 tons of paper being recycled rather than going to the landfill. Paper recycling is also the major fundraising project for the club, which receives an average $5,000 each year.

Osage City Kiwanis currently has 19 members. Six retired members are regular recyclers along with support from friends of the club and spouses. An average of 40 total man hours per month are expended.

Anyone interested in helping with the recycling program or joining Osage City Kiwanis can contact Dave Azwell at 785-217-4586.

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