David Hertzberg, Joplin Public Works Director, has announced the retirement of Mary Anne Phillips, Recycling Coordinator effective January 17, 2020. She will have served with the City for over 22 years effective that date, having started on April 22, 1997.
Phillips was crucial in implementing and/or coordinating many programs for Joplin area residents, businesses, and City facilities such as:
- Waste Electronics, Household Hazardous Waste, and Fats/Oils/Grease Recycling
- Annual Tire Collections in partnership with Liberty Utilities-Empire District Electric
- Residential Trash Franchise; Bulky Items Disposal
- Yard Waste, Compost, Wood Chips, Construction & Demolition Debris programs
- Rain Barrel, Dog Waste Digester, and Compost Bin Workshops and Giveaways
- Drug Drop-Off Boxes in conjunction with area law enforcement and Alliance of SW MO
- Joplin Recycling Drop-off Center
- Document Destruction and Education
- Numerous America Recycles Day, Earth Day, and Arbor Day events
- National Public Works Week commemorations via interactive, entertaining, and educational activities for Joplin North Middle School sixth graders
During her tenure, Phillips handled many ice and wind storm debris cleanup tasks, four of which were declared national disasters in Joplin by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In 2004, Phillips assumed the role of Education Manager for the City’s stormwater permit issued and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Through Phillips ongoing efforts to seek funding through recycling grants, the City of Joplin received over $500 thousand throughout her career. These funds were committed to activities, education and resources focused on community efforts of recycling, composting, water conservation, household hazardous waste, and waste electronics.
As a member of the Missouri Recycling Association, Phillips served on their board of directors for several years. In September 2019 she was honored by the Missouri Recycling Association, receiving the state-wide Recycle Award.
She was also a member of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Community Enhancement Committee. Phillips said she is grateful to countless volunteers, the Wildcat Glades Friends Group, area Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, and others that helped keep recycling and environmental protection as a priority for Joplin.
“I have worked with Mary Anne since her first day on the job and have witnessed the growth of the Recycling Department under her leadership and labor,” said Public Works Director David Hertzberg. “She has been a dedicated public servant who helps all of us understand the significance of recycling and the benefits of stormwater management. She was a great asset to the City. I wish Mary Anne all of the best and thank her for her years of service to the City and our residents.”
Reflecting on her retirement, Phillips said, “It has been an honor and privilege to serve the community, but now it is time to step aside and enjoy the next phase of my life.”
Following retirement, she plans to travel, work with her husband at his business, and continue her volunteer work. She has been an active member in Historic Murphysburg since its inception and will enjoy having more time to dedicate to projects of their circa 1902 house in Murphysburg.
The City will host a retirement reception for Phillips from 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, January 17 on the fifth floor of City Hall.