Where does your recycling go?
After 37 years of serving our residents, the Lee’s Summit Landfill accepted its last load in April of this year.
The closing received a lot of media attention and led many residents to assume that all the services offered at the Resource Recovery Park (2101 S.E. Hamblen Road) ceased to exist.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
When the landfill closed, the City of Lee’s Summit contracted with me to run a public disposal area at the Resource Recovery Park. In addition to accepting loads of trash and yard waste, we were challenged to offer additional recycling and diversion streams. The city also asked us to bring back a hazardous household waste program that had been disbanded by a previous contractor.
As a result, we have partnered with several non-profits and other industry-leading sub-contractors to offer up several programs that not only benefit the residents but the environment as well.
We work closely with KC Compost to turn yard waste and brush into mulch and compost. Since mulch can also be made from clean lumber and used pallets, we are able to recycle those as well, thus decreasing the amount of material taken to landfills. Residents can not only bring yard waste, but they can also purchase the mulch and compost made on site at the Resource Recovery Park.
We partner with Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity to resell materials at their “Habitat ReStore.” We can divert many used construction-related items to their store where they are sold at a discount price. The profits are used to help fund their organization.
When clean mattresses are brought in, we make sure they get to Avenue of Life, another nonprofit we partner with that deconstructs the materials, diverting waste from landfills and selling the commodities to be used in the manufacturing of new products. This process creates opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment.
Hazardous household waste collection is one of the most important services we provide. By appointment, Lee’s Summit residents and those in MARC-participating communities can bring us their household waste free of charge. At these events, one of the most popular items we receive is paint.
When reusable paint is brought to our facility, we mix it into 5-gallon buckets and offer it free to the public. This paint is extremely beneficial in projects where exact color is not critical.
Electronics recycling has been challenging for many years as older tube televisions and bulky computer screens have given way to flat-screen, smart TVs and thin notebooks. We partner with MRC Electronics Recycling to make sure these past-their-lives electronics are broken down, recycled and diverted away from landfills.
Why do we do all of this? Because Lee’s Summit is our home. My wife Sara and I are both Lee’s Summit High School graduates and my extended family has lived in the Lee’s Summit/Greenwood area for more than 130 years. We are committed to making our community the best that it can be.
The area definitely isn’t closed. If you’ve cleaned out your garage, been met with the effects of a big storm, or simply want to safely dispose of dangerous chemicals, please know this area is open for you.
Our goal is to create a convenient and affordable disposal option that benefits both the city we love and the environment we feel committed to protect. The Lees Summit Public Disposal Area.
gives us the means to achieve that goal.