Ed Kaiser – January 2021 Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer Columbia celebrates 25 years of connecting residents to service opportunities in local government in 2021.  Throughout the year, we will highlight the efforts of long-time volunteers.

After an attempt to get into the Air Force, Ed Kaiser subconsciously found himself being a volunteer officer in the Columbia Police Reserves. The reserves were a diverse force of 40 dedicated volunteers serving their community.

Through the Police Reserves, Ed met a battalion chief with the Columbia Fire Department who requested Ed accompany him on an inspection tour for his company to look for hazardous materials. Ed realized storage and disposal of hazardous materials was an issue that needed a solution immediately.

After being made aware of extremely harmful hazardous materials in local buildings, it dawned on him the possible hazardous materials in homes. This concern led him to pen a letter to the City of Columbia. With his “Ivory tower” experience as he explained (thanks to his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Purdue University) Ed made it a priority to teach firefighters about hazardous materials.  Ed then developed a program for residents to dispose of their hazardous materials in cooperation with the City’s Solid Waste Utility. Household Hazardous Waste collection, developed by Ed, accepts your materials every 1st & 3rd Saturday mornings, April through November, at the Grissum Building, 1313 Lakeview Avenue.

In approaching the 25th anniversary of Volunteer Columbia, Ed responded: “To thine own self be true…”. Ed and his wife, Judy, have visited all seven continents. Congratulations to Ed Kaiser on this honor and thanks for your impact as a volunteer!

Written by volunteer Maggie Brown