Olathe & Southwest Joco

With 40 percent of trash now recycled, Olathe refocuses its efforts

If they want the city to pick up the limbs for free, Olathe residents should place them at the curb by Jan. 28.
If they want the city to pick up the limbs for free, Olathe residents should place them at the curb by Jan. 28.

City shifted recycling efforts

The city of Olathe says its residents diverted 40.03 percent of waste from landfills in 2018, well above the national average of 34 percent and the Kansas City area average of 36 percent. It’s slightly above the Johnson County average of 39 percent.

“Our residents continue to make a positive impact on the environment by participating in the Olathe recycling program,” Public Works Director Mary Jaeger said in a news release.. “This year, more than ever, we focused on educating residents to not just recycle, but to recycle clean.”

Olathe said it shifted its education focus last year in response to changes in recycling regulations. China, where most recycled materials are sent for repurposing, became stricter about the quality and cleanliness of the materials it would accept.

All Olathe residents have received educational magnets that outline acceptable items for curbside recycling. Large stickers were made available free to residents to place on recycling carts.

Visit OlatheKS.org/recycling to learn about clean recycling practices.

Disposing of storm debris

Residents in southwestern Johnson County still have time to dispose of tree limbs that fell during recent bouts of winter weather.

If they want the city to pick up the limbs for free, Olathe residents should place them at the curb by Jan. 28. They should be no more than 15 feet long and at least 4 inches in diameter.

Crews have already begun sweeping neighborhoods and will continue through the end of the month. Learn about other disposal options at OlatheKS.org.

Meanwhile, two drop-off sites have been created for Gardner residents and those living outside city limits.

Johnson County and Gardner have established a drop-off location at the county fairgrounds, near the Gardner Aquatic Center, 215 N. Center St. This site is open only to Gardner residents and those living in unincorporated areas.

For residents in unincorporated areas, the county also will accept limbs at Heritage Park, 16050 Pflumm Road in Olathe. Use the 175th Street entrance.

Limbs should be no longer than 12 feet, and a photo ID is required as proof of residency. Scheduled hours for both locations, weather permitting:

Jan. 25, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 26, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jan. 31, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 1, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 2, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closures and/or additional dates and times will be posted at jocogov.org.

Olathe spelling bee is Feb. 7

More than 45 students will compete on Feb. 7 in the Olathe Public Schools Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Olathe News, which is part of The Kansas City Star.

The doors open at 7:45 a.m., and the competition begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Frontier Trail Middle School auditorium, 15300 W. 143rd St.

Speech-language pathologist Gayle Bergstrand will pronounce the words, and three retired principals will act as judges.

The winner will be eligible for the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee, which takes place May 26-31 near Washington, D.C.

Time to nominate alums for honor

The Olathe Public Schools Alumni Association is accepting nominations through March 1 for its 2019 Wall of Honor.

Nominees must have graduated from a district high school at least 20 years ago. So far, more than 70 graduates have been recognized for personal or professional accomplishments, community service or a lifelong commitment to educational excellence.

In addition, the alumni association recognizes current and former district staff members for their lifetime achievements, even if they did not graduate from an Olathe school. The Distinguished Person of Honor award has been given to nine individuals since 2012.

Questions can be directed to Heather Schoonover, 913-780-8233. Details and forms are available at olatheschools.org

Deadline soon for Gardner summer jobs

Feb. 1 is the deadline to apply for seasonal summer positions with Gardner Parks and Recreation. Jobs will be filled at the aquatic center and at city parks and facilities.

Adults and responsible teens may apply. See gardnerkansas.gov for more information.