My sister reminded me today that we’re not supposed to crush our soda cans before sending them off to recycle, and I thought, “It’s been a while since I’ve watched a recycling facility tour video, and as JoCo gears up to kick-off their Recycle Right program in Prairie Village, what a great time to share a video with my neighbors!” 😜
So, Recycle Right was mentioned in my last Council Recap, but here’s a bit more about the program from the City:
Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is excited to announce a new education campaign aimed at improving recycling and reducing contamination in Johnson County. The program will begin work in Prairie Village in November. The “Recycle Right” campaign will provide direct feedback to residents about the materials that shouldn’t be in their recycle bins, for example, glass that can be recycled elsewhere, or Styrofoam that belongs in the trash. By recycling the right way and keeping trash and non-recyclables out of our recycle bins, we can all play a part in conserving resources and protecting our environment.
Johnson County Department of Health and Environment staff will be working with Republic Services (the City’s trash and recycling hauler) to go from house to house to do a quick visual inspection of recycle bins that are placed out at the curb (only recycling, not trash). We will then leave a checklist of the items that shouldn’t be in your recycle bin, along with info on how you can get your recycling questions answered.
Note: Republic will still be picking up your recycling, there is no fine or punishment, this is for education purposes only.
This program is grant funded and provided to Prairie Village at no cost to the City or its residents. If you do not want to participate in this program and want us to skip your house, please contact Brandon Hearn with Johnson County Department of Health and Environment using the contact information at the end of this article.
Why does it matter?
Recycling is important because it saves resources by taking materials and making them into new products instead of using virgin resources. Recycled paper is made into new paper items, aluminum cans are made into new aluminum cans, and so on. When we put things in our recycle bin that don’t belong there, they can get caught in equipment at the recycling facility and contaminate the good quality recyclables causing them to go to the landfill instead of being recycled. When we bag our recyclables, all those items end up in the landfill. When recycling programs can’t recycle the materials and must spend money cleaning it up instead, recycling becomes more expensive and programs can’t survive. We can all play a part in cleaning up recycling and keeping usable materials out of the landfill.
Weather permitting, Johnson County staff will be surveying Prairie Village starting on Monday, November 7 with the area that has Monday recycling collection. DHE staff will observe this area two weeks in a row before moving to another area of the city. All you have to do is put out your recycling bin like normal, we will do the rest.
We are here to help. If you have questions you can reach out directly to program manager Brandon Hearn, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at Johnson County Recycles, or go to www.jocogov.org/recycling101. The Recycle More flier available here shows all the things that should and shouldn’t go in your recycle bin.
If you have any concerns or questions about this program you can contact Brandon Hearn, Environmental Health Specialist with Johnson County Department of Health and Environment: firstname.lastname@example.org 913-238-6876.
And for a facility tour, this facility isn’t the company that most of us in Prairie Village use (Republic), but it’s a better produced video than what I found in (an admittedly cursory) online search. Please watch:
I hope you found that as fascinating as I did. 😜
If you have questions about what can go in your recycle bin, are curious about other recycling options, please email Brandon Hearn or call him at 913-715-6936.
This is also a great resource: https://www.republicservices.com/recycling-guide.
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