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Olathe exceeds national average for waste diversion

Post Date:01/22/2019 8:00 AM

Olathe residents diverted 40.03 percent of waste from landfills in 2018, well above the national average of 34 percent, the Kansas City Metro average of 36 percent and the Johnson County average of 39 percent.

“Our residents continue to make a positive impact on the environment by participating in the Olathe recycling program," said Public Works Director Mary Jaeger. "This year, more than ever, we focused on educating residents to not just recycle, but to recycle clean."

The focus of Olathe recycling education shifted in 2018, in response to changes in recycling regulations. Most recycled materials are sent to China for repurposing, but China became stricter about the quality and cleanliness of the materials they accepted. In response, Olathe launched a “Back to the Basics” campaign to educate residents on clean, acceptable recycling.

“We focused on quality over quantity this year. All of the material recycled by residents is in fact being recycled because of the efforts being put forth,” said Solid Waste Manager Kent Seyfried. 

Educational recycling magnets outlining acceptable curbside recycling items were sent to all Olathe residents. Large stickers were also printed and available free to residents to place on recycling carts. 

Olathe has a single stream recycling system, meaning most recyclable materials can be stored in the same container for curbside pick-up. Olathe partners with Ripple Glass for glass recycling. Residents are encouraged to recycle at one of the many drop-off sites. For more information about recycling in Olathe, visit

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