County Services, Environment, Home Improvement, Informational, Sustainability

Still Have Large Items to Purge?

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

We’re all still spending a lot of time in our homes and doing small and large projects around the house leaving some leftover things that we’re ready to part with… So, instead of waiting for Prairie Village’s annual Large Item Pick-up next Spring, please divert those items from the landfill by utilizing these services now:

Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off

Take your unwanted household chemicals to Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off. They recycle paint and properly dispose of lawn chemicals, cleaning supplies, automotive products, and much more. The facility is open year-round by appointment only and is free to Johnson County residents. You can use their online scheduler to make your appointment. They are currently scheduling in December, so don’t delay. Get your spot reserved now!

Johnson County Landfill Free Recycling Site 

Waste Management’s (fka Deffenbaugh) Recycling Drop-Off area is free and open at all times.  The recycling drop-off area is available to the left as you enter before you cross the scales at the Johnson County Landfill at 17955 Holliday Drive, Shawnee, Kansas 66217.

Two Options for Old Mattresses

Mattresses were a crazy problem during the 2020 Large Item Pick-up. There were a ton more put out for pick-up than usual and they take up SO much space in the trucks. They weren’t the only reason Republic needed extra weeks to finish, but they were a LARGE reason for it. Pun intended. Note from 7/6/2020: In a normal year for this program, Republic collects 200 tons of trash. This year they collected 400 tons.

So, donate your mattresses:

Sleepyhead Beds

If the mattress is in good shape, contact Sleepyhead Beds, and they will pick up your mattress for a donation of $40. Your bed will help a child have a place to sleep within one month of pickup.

Avenue of Life

While they’re currently closed for COVID-19, a place to keep in mind if your mattress isn’t in good shape is Avenue of Life.  Avenue of Life will charge individuals $5 to drop off a mattress or will pick one up for $10. Their workers will take the mattresses and box springs, reduce them to their components — cotton, foam rubber, wood, and metal — bale those pieces up, and sell them as commodities. The commodities do not generate a high return, but they break even, make a huge impact on the environment, and seven people have a job. Win-win!

I wonder what those 7 people are doing right now without this job. 🙁

Many Options for Household Items & Clothing

The clothing that ends up in landfills can sit there for 200-plus years, and as it decomposes, it emits methane—a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon. “Only about 20 percent of donated clothing gets put back into the community. About 80 percent gets sold to recyclers because it is dirty, in poor condition (torn, worn, missing a button, etc.), or because the sheer amount of clothing overwhelms the organizations’ ability to store, process and sell it. Follow The Four-Point Plan for Properly Donating Old Clothes, by Elizabeth L. Cline to help ensure that your unwanted clothing has the best chance at a good, second life.”

Habitat ReStore

Besides diverting from the landfill, donating large-scale items like these to Habitat ReStore means the proceeds from the resale of your goods at every ReStore help local families build brighter futures for themselves with Habitat for Humanity. The Johnson County drop-off location is at 8722 Santa Fe, Overland Park, KS 66212. If it’s too big or bulky to drop off, they’ll pick it up for free. Use their online scheduler to plan your donation pick-up.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of KC

Big Brothers Big Sister of KC will usually** PICK-UP your medium-size household and clothing donations. They deliver it to Savers and turn it into cash for their mission of serving the youth of KC, you save yourself a trip, AND you divert these items from the landfill! Click here to view a list of the items they are able to accept. **Due to COVID-19, they’re currently NOT picking up, but you can still drop-off at Savers or at a BlueBin. I’ll try to update this when they’re picking up again.


Visit the MoKan Goodwill location in Shawnee at 10611 Shawnee Mission Parkway Shawnee, KS 66203 to drop off your donations. To see a comprehensive list of donations you can drop off, please explore their ‘Donate your stuff’ list. The resale of your goods here also supports MoKan Goodwill’s mission in the Greater Kansas City community and surrounding areas.

A No-Brainer, but: Recycle your Glass

There’s no reason to ever send glass to the landfill.

Ripple Glass

Ripple Glass accepts all colors of food and beverage glass. Labels can stay on. If you can see through it, they can likely recycle it! For a complete list of what can and can’t be recycled, please click here.

Curbside Pick-up

Ripple Glass has partners who will even pick your glass bins up at your curbside for a small fee. See those partners here, but Glass Bandit and Atlas Glass seem to be the two companies covering our PV area.

Another Item to Divert from the Landfill: Food!

Learn how at

Did you know that 40% of all food in America is wasted? Did you know that food waste makes up over 23% of the Johnson County Landfill? That’s several percentage points over the national average! If you’d like to know what you can do to reduce food waste, guesstimate amounts for large parties, how to store food (freeze or can) for future use, and much more, check out SAVE THE FOOD.COM.

In closing

So, there is your comprehensive, or nearly comprehensive, list of ways to purge your closets, basement, lawn, and garage withOUT filling up our JoCo landfill which does NOT have infinite space for our garbage. 😉

Did I forget anything? Do you have a favorite place to donate or recycle that’s not listed here? Leave those in the comments below to share with the rest of us!

Thank you for reading!

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