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Olathe sets standard for waste diversion in 2019
Olathe residents diverted 42.41 percent of waste from landfills in 2019, up from 40.03 percent in 2018!
This number far exceeds the 2019 waste diversion rates of 38 percent in Johnson County, 27 percent in Kansas City, MO, and the 34 percent national average. The waste diversion rate is based on residential recycled material and yard waste diverted from the landfill.
“We are so proud of how our residents have responded to the challenges of the recycling industry," said Public Works Director Mary Jaeger. "The focus of our recycling this year has been to cut down on contamination. Our residents have responded by ensuring the correct waste items are in the correct collection carts."
After collecting recycled material from residents, trucks transport the materials to the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). The MRF can reject recycling loads if there is too much contamination. To ensure that all curbside recycled materials are indeed recycled and not sent to the landfill, the City launched a “Back to the Basics” campaign in 2018. This campaign focused on educating residents on the importance of the quality and cleanliness of the recycled materials.
“When in doubt, throw it out,” said Solid Waste Manager Kent Seyfried. “Recycled materials decreased by 80 tons from 2018 to 2019, while the average per month waste generation per household increased by two pounds per month. It seems that the increased waste is a direct reflection of our educational efforts this year with less contamination going into the 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 glass and cardboard at one of the many drop-off sites. Visit OlatheKS.org/Recycling for more information about recycling in Olathe.