Editorial: Kansas, county need to settle yard-waste feud

01/21/2014 4:04 PM

01/21/2014 4:06 PM

Kansas and Johnson County officials have escalated their argument over yard waste disposal in that county.

In the latest development, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment rejected the county’s solid waste management plan. Counties, the state says, can’t tell private landfills what can go into them.

That directly contradicts the county’s position, which says yard waste cannot be dumped in a landfill.

This disagreement needs to get settled so clear rules exist for how thousands of residents handle their grass clippings, brush, tree limbs and other lawn waste.

The Star supports the system Johnson County officials favor (and which has been in effect for many years in the state of Missouri): Yard waste should not be placed in landfills.

That approach properly promotes composting and reuse of the grass clippings and much of the other lawn waste created each year in Johnson County. And it frees up more space in landfills for trash.

Over the last two years, many Johnson Countians have become familiar with this method of handling their yard debris and favor doing it this way. But a number of vocal residents continue to oppose this option, saying it can be time-consuming and become an added financial burden if yard waste must be hauled away.

Johnson County’s leaders disagree with the state’s findings. For now, changes won’t be made in the yard waste requirements as this fight goes on.

However, the county and Kansas need to work out their disagreement and make sure a state-sanctioned solid waste management plan is in place later this year. The best result would be to continue keeping yard waste out of landfills.

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