Local Iron Man Leads Missouri's Reduction in Waste

3 years 5 months 3 weeks ago December 03, 2012 Dec 3, 2012 Monday, December 03 2012 Monday, December 03, 2012 5:29:00 PM CST in News
By: Karl Roskamp

CENTRALIA - Missourians have greatly decreased their waste generation over the past decade.

In 2001, Missourians waste 37 percent more per person compared to the national average according to the Missouri Recycling Association. Then, as the economy took a dip, so did waste levels. By 2008, Missouri had the lowest waste generation per person of any state according to a study by Biocycle and Columbia University.

"Waste generation is higher when the economy is robust; citizens are purchasing more goods," Missouri Recycling Association Executive Director Angie Gehlert said.

Recycling is one aspect of reducing waste and no one does it quite like Larry Vennard.

A welder by trade, Vennard was injured nearly two decades to the point where his doctor advised him not to continue welding.

"I've been welding my whole life. I didn't know anything besides welding," Vennard said. In need of something to occupy his time, he soon found the answer.

"I was out here messing with some iron one day and I thought, ‘Man, that looks like a dinosaur head.' I started to put some parts together and before I knew it, I had built myself a T-Rex."

Vennard now has a yard filled with a variety of sculptures, all made from recycled materials.

"I've had a lot of people come down and come back," he said.

While iron is his primary base, Vennard will use steel, oil barrels, tractor parts or water tanks to make his imagination come to life. His warrior sculptures don helmets that were once ice cream buckets and his T-Rex has a spine lined with fencing. Even though Vennard finds a way to recycle everything, Missourians do not.

"We're just average at recycling," Waste Minimization Supervisor Layli Terrill said. "Last year Columbians recycled 10,358 tons and that was just a little less than we did last year, so w'ere greatly disappointed."

In fact, 45 percent of municipal solid waste deposited in Missouri landfills could be recycled, including metals, paper, plastics and glass. If recycled, the potential value of those materials as commodities would be roughly $208 million.

While making recycled art might not be everyone's path for a greener tomorrow, Vennard encourages people to be creative.

"Everyone can develop that imagination like a muscle you know. The more you use it the stronger it will get."

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - As an event promoter for Off Track Events, Colin LaVaute has planned plenty of races in his work... More >>
6 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 3:01:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Over 600 people in south Columbia experienced power outages around 10 p.m. according to Columbia Water and Light.... More >>
9 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 11:44:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Flooding along the banks of the Missouri River caused a change of plans for some Mid-Missouri residents... More >>
15 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 6:02:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - This year's Memorial Day parade will take a different route through downtown Columbia in an effort to limit... More >>
17 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 3:38:00 PM CDT in News
BUCKHORN – The annual Mid-America Freedom Rally (MAFR) held an Honor Guard Ceremony Sunday afternoon. The event is a Memorial... More >>
18 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 3:02:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia Parks and Recreation finished renovations to the Lake of the Woods Golf Course last Friday. Attracting... More >>
18 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 2:40:00 PM CDT in News
TIPTON - Authorities are investigating a shooting that left a 19-year-old dead in Tipton late Saturday night. According to... More >>
19 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 1:51:00 PM CDT in News
MOBERLY – Mid-Missourians could immerse themselves in history this Memorial Day weekend at a World War II reenactment in Moberly.... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 7:39:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
CENTRALIA — A Memorial Day display in Centralia is one that turns heads as people pass by. The "Avenue... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 5:26:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - VFW Post 2657 celebrated Memorial Day with the sale of “Buddy” Poppies. VFW members and volunteers stood... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 3:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The 28th annual Salute to Veterans Celebration and Air Show took flight Saturday at the Columbia Regional Airport.... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 1:08:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers took steps this year to address the growing number of drug overdoses, but health... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 12:54:44 PM CDT in News
BUTLER (AP) — A western Missouri community is grieving after the death of a spunky 12-year-old who was killed in... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:41:14 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – While many convenience stores are working extra hours to keep up with record-breaking Memorial Day travel predictions ,... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:02:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 11:10:23 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A 22-year-old man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries Friday after he was shot twice.... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 10:52:00 PM CDT in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged in the death of a man whose body was... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 8:15:25 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Friday as severe storms could bring more flooding throughout... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 7:38:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
10am 79°
11am 83°
12pm 85°
1pm 86°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
2016 French Open
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Crazy Talk
10:30a
Crazy Talk

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2016 Stanley Cup Final
7:00p
Memorial Day
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld