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Changes to recycling collection policies take effect Oct. 1

Post Date:09/10/2018

Beginning Oct. 1, 2018, cardboard and glass will be the only materials accepted at the drop-off recycling centers in Olathe to reduce contamination and open dumping issues.

Cardboard and glass will be accepted at the following recycling center drop-off locations:

  • West Location: K-7 and W. Santa Fe St. (Walmart Parking Lot)
  • East Location: 13600 S. Alden St. (Walmart Parking Lot)
  • Downtown Location: CLOSED due to Johnson County Courthouse construction and other proposed development in Downtown Olathe 

New Location: Mixed material (paper, aluminum, cans, etc.) and yard waste will be accepted at the Olathe Composting Facility (1100 Hedge Ln.), Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What's the reason for the change?

Once collected from the curb or dumpster, recycled materials are sent to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), located at I-435 and Holiday Dr. The MRF sorts and bundles the materials to be shipped overseas to be re-purposed. Watch this video to learn what a MRF looks like and how it operates!

The recycling industry is experiencing high levels of contamination (food, dirt, and trash) mixed in with recycling. Most of the recycled materials from Johnson County are sent to China. To clean up the country, China changed some of its regulations in 2017, and now is more strict about the quality and cleanliness of accepted recycling materials. In fact, new policies have banned 24 types of previously accepted materials.

The focus for the recycling industry has shifted from quantity to quality to ensure the long-term sustainability of recycling programs. When non-recyclable items are collected, the MRF has the authority to reject the entire recycling load and send it straight to the landfill. When this happens, processing costs are increased, which could be reflected in higher solid waste rates.

The City is committed to help residents clean up their recycling. There are several ways to do so.

  • Download the freeTrashDay app on your smart device and utilize the What Goes Where feature.
  • Hang the magnet sent to your home, which serves as a photographic checklist of what is accepted in curbside recycling.
  • Place a checklist decal on your recycling cart. Similar to the magnet, the free sticker is available for pick up from the following locations:
    • Customer Service – 1385 S. Robinson Dr.
    • Olathe City Hall – 100 E. Santa Fe St.
    • Olathe Community Center – 1205 E. Kansas City Rd.
Visit for more information.
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