Overland Park & Leawood

Overland Park recycling collection is a benefit, too

Overland Park offers residents a way to declutter their homes without cluttering their trash cans.

The city is holding its biannual Recycling Extravaganza from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 17 at Black & Veatch, 11401 Lamar Ave.

Vendors offering a huge variety of services will be on hand.

Confidential documents may be destroyed onsite by ProShred Security. The suggested donation for this service is $5 for a standard file box and $10 for larger quantities.

Electronics such as computers, printers, televisions, cellphones and stereos will be recycled by Surplus Exchange. Most items will be accepted at no charge, but there is a $10 fee for CRT monitors and televisions, as well as projection type televisions.

The event, now in its fourth year, is not just for recycling — it’s for a good cause. Many vendors will collect items such as shoes, mattresses, pet supplies and medical equipment, and much more, and donate them to area families.

“A lot of people appreciate this event, which is nice to hear,” said Jim Twigg, environmental programs coordinator for Overland Park. “We commonly see a lot of these items — especially electronics — in the trash. So this gives residents an opportunity to make a clean sweep, get this stuff out of their house, and recycle items they otherwise wouldn’t recycle.”

Each year, the recycling extravaganza is held in the spring and fall. It usually brings out about 800 to 900 vehicles, Twigg said.

The event held in May drew impressive numbers.

Residents brought in 73,225 pounds of electronics to recycle and about 45,300 pieces of paper were shredded and recycled. Goodwill collected 9,300 pounds of miscellaneous household items. Five hundred pounds of fabric also were donated.

Also at the May event, Sleepyhead Beds, based in Kansas City, received around 60 mattresses to be recycled and redistributed. The nonprofit organization sanitizes and delivers mattresses and other bed-related items to children in need across the area.

Laura Turner, client services coordinator for Sleepyhead Beds, said organizers are excited to participate in the Recycling Extravaganza again next weekend.

“Most of our donations come from Johnson County, so it’s great to be part of such a big event like this one in Overland Park,” she said. “We normally just get around eight to 10 mattresses on a regular pickup, so to receive dozens of them at once is incredible.”

The organization accepts crib mattresses, as well as mattresses for toddler beds, and twin, full and queen-size beds. They also accept gently used bedding, box springs, and pack and plays.

Mattresses that cannot be reused are taken apart and the components, from the stuffing to the cloth, are recycled.

“When mattresses end up in a landfill, they just become a breeding ground for rats, lice, bedbugs and other pests and bacteria,” Turner said. “They take up a lot of space and float to the top, taking years and years to degrade. Many people don’t realize you can recycle mattresses.”

She hopes Sleepyhead Beds will continue participating in the Overland Park Recycling Extravaganza every year. This past May was its first time being in the event.

“It’s all about helping the environment and helping the community at the same time,” Turner said. “We’re proud to be a part of it.”

Twigg is pleased the recycling event has become so popular over the past four years.

He does have a few words of caution for residents coming out, however: no garbage, please.

“Don’t bring hazardous materials or liquid waste,” he stressed.

Jennifer Bhargava: bhargava913@gmail.com.

On the Web

For a full list of vendors and allowable items, visit opkansas.org/events/recycling-extravaganza