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Olathe to safely resume yard waste collection

Post Date:04/03/2020

The City of Olathe will resume yard waste collection on Monday, April 6, for Olathe residential solid waste customers. Yard waste collection was suspended on March 23 while the City determined the best way to keep City staff and members of the public safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In order to effectively resume yard waste collection on April 6, customers are asked to do the following:

    • Place all yard waste (grass clippings) in compostable paper bags or a City purchased yard cart.
    • Bundle all limbs together. The total weight must be less weigh less than 50 pounds, and each limb must be less than four inches in diameter and less than four feet in length.
    • Yard waste must be placed within eight feet of the curb as early as one day before collection. The earlier you can put your yard waste at the curb, the better.
    • The City will not collect plastic bags, lumber, or loose limbs.

Trash trucks will be now be used to collect weekly yard waste. Although it may appear that a trash truck is collecting yard waste, the yard waste is being recycled at the Compost Facility.

Due to CDC recommendations and employee safety, extra bags of trash and loose recycling will not be collected. Extra trash carts are available for $5 per month. Extra recycling carts are free. Call Customer Service to place an order.

The City provides trash, recycling and yard waste disposal services. Of the three, only yard waste requires physical contact with collected material and creates significant exposure risk for employees. It is the only service that is not considered to have a public health impact. The temporary service suspension allowed the City to reduce risk to employee health and a corresponding service disruption for residential trash collection.

The City has been working hard to resume collection as quickly as possible while keeping employees safe. Staff will now use more automated equipment, follow new safety guidelines, and wear additional protective gear. If resources are significantly impacted by Coronavirus related illness, they will again move from yard waste to trash collection.

City Manager Michael Wilkes said he truly regrets the inconvenience the suspension has caused. He said, “I know customers have been frustrated, and it has been frustrating for our employees who pride themselves in providing excellent service.” He noted the essential role solid waste employees play in the community. He said, “I hope customers understand that if we unduly exposed our solid waste employees to the virus, we could create yet another health crisis from trash being piled up at the curb”.

Of the collection resumption, he said, “I continue to be incredibly proud of our employees and their response to this threat. They are solutions driven and dedicated to our community.”

Visit OlatheKS.org/YardWaste, download the Olathe Trash Day app, or call 913-971-9311 for more information. Visit OlatheKS.org/Coronavirus for the latest updates regarding COVID-19 and City services.
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