Ashley Krug

Market Development Coordinator for Environmental Services at City of Springfield

Ashley Krug
Photo by Katy St. ClairAshley Krug is Market Development Coordinator for Environmental Services at City of Springfield. Purchase Photo

As a theater major at Missouri State University, Ashley Krug had an assignment: learn how to behave like a tree.

“I went on a date and saw An Inconvenient Truth to do research for my acting class and learn more about the environment,” she says. “As cliché as it sounds, that night changed my life, and I changed my major.”

As Market Development Coordinator for Environmental Services at the City of Springfield, Krug describes herself as an educator and advocate for the Noble Hill Sanitary Landfill. The landfill is an invisible but vital resource for 417-land, and along with a team of five educators, she’s helping to extend the capacity of our community’s landfill through proactive recycling and waste management.

“Ashley is always on the lookout for ways to encourage citizens to rethink, repurpose and recycle waste,” says Laurie Davis, education outreach coordinator for Environmental Services. “The landfill is a limited community resource, so Ashley is always exploring ways to keep that message front and center in all of her interactions.”

In 2023, Krug secured USDA funding for Dish to Dirt, a citywide effort to keep food waste from ending up in the landfill. More than 14 percent of all waste, 40,000 tons of compostable food scraps end up in the landfill each year. Dish to Dirt empowers citizens to collect their food scraps and drop them off at one of three Springfield recycling centers, turning food scraps into rich compost.

For every pound of waste deferred from the landfill, the landfill’s life extends, with a positive impact on the environment and the local economy. Companies looking to invest in communities look to infrastructure when making decisions, and sustainable practices with waste management are key to securing more and bigger investment in the region, says Krug.

“I see Springfield being the next city where forward-thinking, environmentally conscious companies are looking to invest,” she says. “Sustainability isn’t scarcity. Sustainability is about making smarter decisions to ensure our environment in the Ozarks is just as beautiful in two generations as it is for us today. Being a little more thoughtful now can have a huge impact on our future.”

Nailed It, Failed It with Ashley Krug

“I am the chair of the communications/marketing committee of the Solid Waste Association of North America, and we had the opportunity to speak to Congress about the challenges of recycling in small cities. That’s something I was super-terrified to do, but it was an awesome opportunity to highlight the Midwest, that we’re a really important and large part of the work recycling nationwide. It was a great way to advocate for more funding and more resources coming our way.” #NailedIt

“It’s embarrassing. I was interviewed on NPR a couple of years ago about food waste and recycling, and I was on the spot being asked about food waste. We know each person will waste about 400 pounds of food every year, and I told the reporter, ‘400 pounds. That’s two John Cenas.’ That taught me how to be better prepared for interviews and think through some talking points and examples to always have in my back pocket.” #FailedIt

For the Record

Book recommendation
Wasteland by Oliver Franklin-Wallis.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Marine biologist to study sharks, then a Broadway star.

Your hometown
Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Your coffee order
Iced tea brewed by her husband, Eric.

Favorite way to unwind in the Ozarks?

Meaningful mentor
Mary Kromrey.

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