Where Does Warsaw’s Garbage Go?

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Ages ago, people threw their trash into the streets, burned it, dumped it in waters, and buried it in holes. Of course, waste was mainly fire ashes, wood, bones, and vegetables that could be decomposed or used to feed animals. As time went on, the varieties of trash increased and laws were made to require that it be collected and dumped away from towns. This was necessary to remove smells, health hazards, and unsightly messes. Trash pickup is crucial to living clean and healthy and is a modern-day convenience that is often taken for granted. This service is sometimes appreciated only when a pickup is missed and we have to live with our trash for an extra day or more.
Ozark Disposal is responsible for much of the trash pickup in Benton County, and also provides its services as far as east of Versailles, south to Climax Springs and Cross Timbers, west of Clinton, as well as Windsor, Greenwich, and Florence. It picks up trash in two-thirds of Morgan County, one-half of Henry County, plus smaller amounts in Hickory and Camden Counties.
“We are so busy that we only take two holidays a year, Christmas and New Years Day,” said Kevin Dockery, who owns (with his family) Ozark Disposal, in Warsaw. “When we take a day off for a holiday or severe weather, it becomes stressful trying to take care of the resulting backup. We try to pick up trash as soon as possible when a day is missed, but that sometimes depends on the condition of the roads, especially in rural areas.”
Dockery said that Ozark Disposal has 19 employees, in addition to the family. They have 12 big trucks, and eight smaller trucks picking up trash in resort areas. All trash is taken to the landfill in Sedalia.
“There are certain things that cannot be taken to the landfill,” said Dockery. “They are yard waste, tires, car batteries and appliances. The City of Warsaw has a compost facility on Industrial Drive, south of the Profit Packaging Building for yard waste.”
 The compost facility is for use by residents of the City of Warsaw and only for grass clippings, shrub clippings, leaves, flowers and weeds. Benton County Tire will dispose of tires for a fee, and appliances can be taken to Advantage Metals Recycling in Sedalia at 300 N. Iron Avenue. Advantage Metals Recycling will take washers, dryers, refrigerators, microwaves and old type dishwashers. They also take steel door frames, circuit boards, alternators, aluminum cans, copper, glass and more. The going price at this time is $110 per ton, but the store will buy items less than that amount. For a complete range of items the store will buy, and price changes, go to www.advantagerecycling.com. Car batteries can be taken to D C Battery Auto Parts Store at 210 E. 3rd St., in Sedalia.  The store pays 22 cents a pound for batteries, then ships them somewhere else to be taken care of safely.
When asked about disposal of large televisions, Dockery said they could not be picked up on a trash route, but small portable televisions or flat screens could be. The large TVs can be personally hauled to Ozark Disposal for a drop-off fee.
The question of recycling came up and Dockery said that Quad Lakes Solid Waste has sites in the area for cardboard and paper recycling. However, glass and plastic drop off sites are mostly going to be in Kansas City or Sedalia.
“There are too many transportation and handling costs for these materials in our area,” said Dockery. “Large cities often make it mandatory for residents to recycle and with this larger amount of recycled material, and the location of nearby facilities to handle it, which makes it more worthwhile.”
The Dockery’s took over operation of Ozark Disposal in 1986. The facility had been in business in Warsaw since the early 1970s. Before that time, Warsaw, Lincoln and Cole Camp had city dumps. The one in Warsaw was located near the Benton House. They were closed by the Missouri Solid Waste Management Law in 1972 that outlawed the open dumping of waste, and required that trash had to be transported to modern, sanitary landfills.