Facebook Social Icon Instagram Icon Twitter Social Icon You Tube Social Icon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

You are here

Free Store

Why buy new when you can get usable products for free?

free household productsStop by the FREE Store at the Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Residents, businesses, community groups, local government, and schools are all welcome.

It's FREE to the public, even to those living outside of Johnson County

There are a variety of usable products available:

  • Lawn and Garden Care
  • Wood Working
  • Home Improvement
  • Household Cleaners
  • Automotive
  • Arts and Crafts
  • And much more

No appointment is necessary to shop in the FREE Store. We are open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8-3pm

Location:
5901 Jim Bills Road
Mission, KS 66203
Just off Foxridge Dr. and Lamar

Free Store and Paint programRe-blended Paint  Program

Usable latex paint that is dropped off at the Household Hazardous Waste facililty is processed on site and made available to residents, community groups, and others looking for latex paint.

Johnson County Re-blended Latex Paint comes in shades of white, beige, grey, and brown; available in 5 gallon buckets.

Note: Starting January 1, 2015 we will begin charging a nominal fee for the purchase of 5 gallon buckets of our re-blended latex paint. Prices are still well below retail. All sales are final. CHECK & CARD ONLY. NO CASH.Quantity, and color of paint are not guarranteed please call 913-238-6882 for more information

Pricing
White.....$25
Beige.....$15
Grey......$20
Brown....$10

!!! Important !!! There will continue to be NO CHARGE to drop off latex paint or any other household hazardous waste product for recycling. All items available in the FREE Store will continue to be FREE.

Get Certified

The R5 Certified Program is a voluntary and non-regulatory program that provides free education and technical assistance on a variety of environmental issues to businesses, schools, and places of worship in Johnson County. The primary goals of this program are to increase recycling, improve energy efficiency, and decrease waste, and ultimately save your organization money and resources.

Your organization may be eligible for up to $500 in materials to support your waste diversion projects. Funds are limited, contact Sadie Gardner to learn more: 913.715.6923

Five Steps to becoming R5 Certified:

  1. Get Started -- SIGN UP NOW!!
    We have a team of experienced waste reduction experts who will get you on the path to becoming R5 Certified. Find out what you can do to save money and resources. Fill out this form to sign up for our R5 Certified Program.

  2. Waste Walk-Through
    Schedule a FREE waste walk-through with our expert team. This is a non-invasive facility tour where our staff will ask questions about your current practices and identify areas for recycling, efficiency, and cost savings.

  3. Implement Recommendations: Following your Waste Walk-Through, our team will provide you with resources and recommendations for greening your business. You can then select recommendations that work for you; implement and save. We will be there to help you along the way.

  4. Track Savings
    We highly recommend that you track before and after records of strategies that you implement so you can see the difference your efforts are making. You can also brag about the savings to your coworkers and customers.

  5. Get Certified!
    Become R5 Certified: By meeting minimum qualifications you will receive public recognition, a certificate and decal to display at your business. You will also be recognized at our annual R5 Certified Reception. Not to mention the reduction in waste, disposal costs, increased efficiency, and hopefully cost savings you will experience along the way.

Take a look at the R5 Certified Application: For more information contact Sadie Gardner our R5 Certified Program manager: 913.715.6923

In order to maintain certification, you must continue to comply with the core criteria and complete at least one new elective criterion from each category every year. Johnson County staff will follow-up annually to ensure that they continue to meet the certification criteria, to encourage further improvement, and to lend assistance in overcoming technical issues and challenges.

 

Help Reduce Ozone

grandmother and grandsonGround-level ozone impairs breathing, irritates the lungs, causes scar tissue in the lungs, and damages vegetation. Those most at risk are people with asthma, emphysema, heart conditions, as well as children, elderly, and healthy adults engaged in vigorous work or exercise outdoors. On high ozone concentration days, everyone is at risk.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set air quality standards to protect both public health and the public welfare, e. g., crops and vegetation. Ground-level ozone affects both.

The EPA website has an on-line course for health professionals titled "Ozone and Your Patients' Health" that has information everyone can use as a resource to learn about the health effects of ground-level ozone. 

What You Can Do to Help

Each individual contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, as well as industrial and commercial entities, and with simple efforts, each person can help reduce the emissions of harmful pollutants. Air-friendly tips are typically money saving and time saving tips, too!

In Your Car:

  • Drive less by combining trips and planning in advance
  • Bike, walk or ride the bus when possible.
  • Keep personal vehicles well-tuned and tires inflated properly. You can save up to 20% on the amount of gasoline you use.
  • Pressure check vehicle gas caps annually and replace when necessary. A faulty gas cap can allow up to 30 gallons of fuel per year to evaporate.*
  • Refuel as late in the day as possible (after 7 pm preferably), especially on ozone alert days.
  • Stop at the click. Don't top off your tank when you refuel. This keeps harmful fumes from being forced into the air.

*Note:  A faulty gas cap can allow up to 30 gallons of fuel per year to evaporate. At today's prices which can climb over $3 per gallon, you could be wasting over $90 per year compared to a new gas cap which only costs around $10! JCDHE checks gas caps at various public events, including Earth Day at Shawnee Mission Park and at AquaFest in Olathe.

At Work:

  • Allow and promote teleconferencing instead of driving to meetings. If you must drive, carpool when possible.
  • Bring your lunch, carpool or walk to lunch, especially on ozone alert days.
  • Inquire about flexible work schedules that would promote driving less, such as the four day work week.
  • Commute in style: bike, walk, carpool or take public transportation to work. Get in some exercise, good conversation or a little reading in the process!
  • Purchase and use low-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, solvents, pesticides, etc.
  • Select printing companies that use soy-based inks or other low-emissions print processes.

At Home:

  • Reduce the amount of energy you use at home. Most of this area's electricity comes from coal-fired power plants that significantly contribute to ground-level ozone.
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR equipment.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Turn off lights and appliances when they are not in use.
  • Adjust the thermostat to a slightly higher setting in summer and consider installing a programmable thermostat.
  • Avoid chemicals that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as spray paint, paint thinners, glue solvents, and pesticides.

In the Yard:

  • Mow as late as possible, preferably after 7 pm, when there is less sun and heat.
  • Replace older gas cans with new "no-spill" gas cans for refueling equipment. Emissions from gasoline spills are major contributors to ozone and spilled gasoline costs you money.
  • Practice low-maintenance lawn care, requiring less frequent mowing and less inputs of polluting chemical pesticides.
  • Consider replacing any gasoline powered equipment with electric, batter or manual powered equipment.
  • Convert lawn spaces to native plants to reduce the amount of mowing and watering.
  • Avoid open burning.

On The Grill:

  • Do not use lighter fluid. It pollutes on both evaporation and burning. Your food will taste better without it, too!
  • Use a charcoal chimney instead of lighter fluid to start the coals. They are easy to use and leave no telltale taste in the food.
  • Choose briquettes that are additive-free and avoid any added chemicals flavors  to the food.
  • Gas grills emit less pollution than charcoal grills.
  • Postpone grilling until evening on ozone alert days.

 

In the Bin

Your source for what can and can't go in your recycling bin and how you can recycle more

Are you confused about what can go in the bin? Ask Greta or check out more information below. We are also available to talk with your homeowner association or community group.

Featured Questions

Item In The Bin

Why can't Styrofoam go in the recycle bin?

styrofoam

Plastic bottle caps on or off?

bottle caps

How clean does it need to be?

peanut butter jar

What can I do with glass?

glass bottles and jars

 

What can & can't go in my recycle bin and how can I recycle more

Item Accepted in your curbside recycle bin More Info

Plastic Bottles & Containers

plastic bottles for recycling

Yes Recycle empty plastics such as bottles, jars, jugs, and tubs. Keep your plastic bottle caps on, they can be recycled too. Containers containing syringes or sharpes are not allowed in your recycle bin and belong in the trash.

Paper, Flattened Cardboard & Paperboard

paper and cardboard

 

Yes Recycle paper, newspapers, junk mail, and magazines. Flatten and recycle all cardboard and paperboard. No receipts.

Food & Beverage Cans

cans for recycling

Yes Recycle all empty tin, aluminum, and steel cans.

Cartons

cartons

Yes Empty cartons are now accepted in your curbside recycle bin. Juice pouches are not accepted at this time. To find out more information on carton recycling in your area check out the Carton Council.

Pizza boxes (without food and grease)

pizza box

Yes, if there is no grease or food Clean pizza boxes without food or grease are accepted in your curbside recycle bin. If your pizza box has food waste on it tear off the top for recycling and throw the rest in the trash.

Egg cartons

plastic egg carton

Yes, only plastic egg cartons Plastic egg cartons that are clean can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin. Paper and Styrofoam egg cartons are not recyclable and need to be disposed of in the trash.

Glass

bottles and jars

 
No, but they can be recycled Glass bottles and jars are not accepted in your curbside recycle bin, but there are many options for recycling your glass. Ripple Glass operates the purple community recycle bins seen throughout Kansas City. There are also several companies that provide curbside glass pickup, including: Atlas Glass, KC Curbside Glass, and Glass Bandit.

Plastic bags

plastic bags

No, but they can be recycled Plastic bags, food storage bags, newspaper and dry cleaning bags, and product wraps are not accepted in your curbside recycling bin. However, they are recyclable and can be returned to several area grocery stores. For more info on recycling options in your area go to Plastic Film Recycling.org

Packing materials, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts

packing materials and bubble wrap

No, but they can be recycled Packing materials, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts are not accepted in your curbside recycling bin but they are recyclable. Several area stores will accept these items if they are usable. For those options check out Recycle Spot.

Shredded paper

shredded paper

No, but it can be recycled Shredded paper is not accepted in your curbside recycling bin, because it can blow around and is not easily processed in a recycling facility. However, you can recycle shredded paper with a number of area businesses who provided shredded paper disposal. For these options check out Recycle Spot.

Aluminum foil

aluminum foil

No, but it can be recycled Aluminum foil is not accepted in your curbside recycle bin. For community recycling centers in your area that may accept aluminum foil check out RecycleSpot.

Mattresses

Mattress

No, but they can be recycled If the mattress is still usable donate it to Sleepyhead Beds, they provide usable mattesses to kids and families who are in need. If your mattress is no longer usable, recycle it with Avenue of Life, who use recycling to create jobs for individuals with barriers to employment.

Electronics

electronics

No, but they can be recycled Electronics should not be put in the trash; there are several options available for recycling your old electronics. Johnson County Government accepts electronics at the Household Hazardous Waste site during our 2nd Saturday Events which run from March thorugh November. RecycleSpot is a great resource for finding the closest location to recycle near you. The City of Olathe HHW facility also accepts certain electronics.  

Textiles and clothes

used clothes

No, but they can be recycled While not accepted in your curbside recycle bin, textiles and clothes can still be recycled. If these items can't be donated at any number of locations including Goodwill. For locations where you can recycle unusable textiles near you, check out Recycle Spot.

Plastic utensils, plates and straws
plastic utensils

No Plastic utensils, plates, and straws are not accepted in your curbside recycling bin. These items are made of a low-grade plastic and belong in the trash after use. Compostable utensils and cups can be composted through composting operations such as Missouri Organic Recycling but they do not decompose in backyard compost bins.

Food wrappers

food wrappers

No Food wrappers such as chip bags, candy wrappers, ketchup packets, etc. are not recyclable in your curbside recycling bin and belong in the trash. These items are often made of a combination of materials which make it difficult to separate for recycling.

Single serve coffee cups & plastic lids

coffee cup

No Paper coffee cups often have a plastic or waxed coating that does not break down during the recycling process at paper mills. The plastic lids used on these type of coffee cups are also not recyclable in your curbside bin, even though they have a recycling symbol on them.

K-Cups

K-cups

No K-cups and other similar single serve cups are not recyclable due to the combination of materials they are made from. These items should be disposed of in the trash.

Paper napkins, towels and tissues

paper towells

No Paper towels, napkins, and tissues are not accepted in your curbside recycle bin and belong in the trash. Consider using cloth napkins and towels for a waste-free alternative.

Paper plates and cups

paper plates

No Paper plates and cups are coated in a plastic or wax material that will not break down during the recycling process, and are not accepted in your curbside recycling bin. Consider using reusable plates and cups as a waste-free option.

In the Classroom

Trashology 101: Waste Reduction for Grades 3-5

The Health and Environment Department has created an educational curriculum on waste management called Trashology 101. The new curriculum is targeted to students in grades 3-5 (ages 8-11) and their teachers, families, youth-serving organizations such as scout groups, recreational clubs, and faith-based organizations.

Through Trashology 101, young people will learn how they are connected to the environment, how solid waste management impacts the environment, and how they can personally make a positive impact in their school, home and community.

Download Trashology 101
Lesson Plan
Curriculum
Introduction
Module 1
Module 2
Module 3
Module 4

 
Trash Talk and Recycling Road Show Presentations

Is your group or club ready to jump into recycling and learn more about reducing waste? The Environment Divison staff are available to give presentations on the exciting world of waste, recycling and composting. We can talk to your city, community group, church, classroom, neighborhood association, business green team, or any other type of group. Keep in mind you need to allow for at least 20 - 60 minutes for our talk.

Commercial Assistance Program- Up to $500 in supplies

Schools are eligible for FREE waste consulting services, along with assistance of up to $500 in supplies to support a diversion program including but not limited to reduction, recycling, and composting. Our staff have worked with many schools to start programs from scratch, or expand on current efforts. We have a variety of resources and lessons learned from other schools that can be shared with you.

Each school must complete a waste assessment by Johnson County staff prior to requesting assistance. Partners will submit an application and each request will be evaluated and approved by staff. Aprroved assistance will be given on a first come, first serve basis to partners based upon identified needs and recommendiations by staff. SIGN UP NOW!

If you would like more information, please email Sadie Gardner or call 913-715-6923

Kansas Green Schools

The Kansas Green Schools Program provides educational opportunities for preK-12 schools that increase awareness and understanding of environmental interrelationships that impact public health and our society, and that promote responsible environmental stewardship practices.

Their goal is to foster an appreciation and understanding of air and water quality, climate change, energy, reduction and recycling of solid waste, and wildlife habitat.

Grants are available annually for green projects.

Indoor Air

Many people are surprised to learn that there are very few federal, state or local regulations regarding indoor air quality (IAQ), whether it is in the home or the workplace. Although IAQ may not be regulated, we try to provide you with the information and guidance necessary on how to best proceed with indoor air problems.

Any type of building or home can have issues related to IAQ. New homes, offices, and schools are built to be tight and solid in order to conserve energy. This can lead to inadequate ventilation and less ventilation may lead to higher concentrations of indoor pollutants. Owners of existing buildings and homeowners are attempting to increase energy-saving and decrease heating and cooling costs by installing storm windows and insulation, caulking and weather stripping, and heating through natural resources. All buildings and homes need regular maintenance as they age. Paint and caulking deteriorate, pipes break, roofs leak, and so on, which can lead to problems with indoor air quality.

Indoor pollutants may cause discomfort and illness. People with lung problems, such as asthma or emphysema, are the most sensitive and may become affected before an otherwise healthy person would even notice there was a problem. At extreme levels, they can even be fatal. IAQ pollutants have many sources and may include combustion sources such as solvents, oil, gas, and tobacco products; building materials that contain asbestos; carpet, furnishings or structural elements on which mold and mildew have grown; products for cleaning, personal care, and hobbies; chemicals such as pesticides; gases such as radon; and heating and cooling systems.

The "Big Three" in IAQ are asbestos, radon, and mold.

stack of asbestosAsbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used in the past for many building materials for the purpose of insulation and fire-retardation. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. Several asbestos products have been banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC). Today, asbestos is most commonly found in older homes and buildings. It can be found in pipe and furnace insulation, shingles, millboard, textured paints, and floor tiles. It can still be found in new products, such as wallboard or tile flooring that are made outside of the U.S. but imported here. Asbestos is not always considered hazardous. Even if asbestos is in your home, this is usually NOT a serious problem. The mere presence of asbestos in good condition in a home or a building is not hazardous. The danger is that asbestos materials may become damaged over time. Damaged asbestos may release fibers and become a health hazard. The best thing to do with asbestos material in good condition is to leave it alone! Disturbing it may create a health hazard where none existed before.

 

 

RadonRadon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can't see, smell or taste. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer in this country. Every year, about 20,000 people die due to radon. In Johnson County, extensive testing has shown that roughly 40% of the homes in the county will have elevated levels of radon. Radon is found in all types of soil, from clay to sand to rich loam. Since it found in the soil, it can be a problem for any structure in contact with the ground. Radon does not discriminate; it can infiltrate any home whether large or small, new or old, drafty or well-insulated, basement or no basement. Testing is the only way to determine the existence of radon in any particular home. You can hire a contractor to test your home or you can do it yourself. There is no way to test a vacant lot for radon prior to new construction. The house must be in place before a valid radon test can be performed.

 

black mold in cornerMolds are a natural part of our environment. They reproduce by means of tiny spores which are invisible to the naked eye and float through the air continually. Mold may begin to grow indoors when the spores land on wet surfaces. There are many types of mold. People who have serious mold allergies have severe reactions and people with chronic lung illness may develop mold infections in their lungs. Mold can primarily cause respiratory health problems such as allergies, inflammation, and infections. Coughing, sneezing, eye irritation, sore throat, skin rashes and shortness of breath are some of the symptoms. While much of the media attention has been focused on "stachybotrus" or the "black mold," any excess mold, no matter the color, can be a problem. Mold problems are not regulated by the federal Clean Air Act. There are no established maximum exposure levels of mold as there are with the criteria pollutants in outside air. There is a great deal of research being done on the subject to try and establish standards, but as there are thousands of types of molds, this will take time. As a result, there are few, if any, local or state regulations specifically addressing mold problems.

More Information on Indoor Air Quality Issues--PDF files

10 Things to Know About Mold

Indoor Air Quality Testing Shouldn't be Your First Move

"Stop Mold"--article from Family Handyman Magazine

Kansas Landlord-Tenant Brochure

Kansas Landlord-Tenant Act

Indoor Air Quality Testing Shouldn't Be Your First Move

Centers for Disease Control-General Mold Information

Johns-Hopkins: "Lung Disorders on Mold"

Kansas Licensed Asbestos Contractors

Kansas Certified Radon Contractors

California Air Resources Board (CARB) Certified Air Cleaning Devices

CARB-Indoor Air Cleaner Fact Sheet

CARB- Beware of Ozone Generating "Air Purifiers"

Consumer Product Safety Commisison--Update on Formaldehyde

Sewer Gas FAQ's--State of Wisconsin

 

 

Johnson County Landfill

Johnson County LandfillThe Johnson County Landfill (JCL) is located in the north-central part of the city of Shawnee in Johnson County. The landfill is owned and operated by Deffenbaugh Industries, Inc. The first area at the JCL to be designed, constructed, and operated per Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle D regulations was Phase 3 and this area opened up for disposal operations in November, 1995. Current landfilling occurs in Phase 1M and is expected to last until 2020. Phases 1, 2, and 4 were constructed many years prior to the 1991 Subtitle D regulation revisions. Landfill operations will then shift back to Phase 6 until 2043.

RCRA Subtitle D also resulted in a significant increase in the number of groundwater wells and monitoring activities at the JCL.

RCRA Subtitle D resulted in monitoring of landfill gas emissions around the perimeter of the landfill and inside any buildings at the landfill. In addition, the federal Clean Air Act regulations also restrict gas emissions from landfills. The JCL is inspected by the Johnson County air quality staff for compliance with the Clean Air Act. Because of the volume and quality of gas production at the landfill, the gas is used as an energy source, and an extensive gas collection system was installed and operational by the end of 1998. Currently, the landfill gas is being processed, treated, and distributed as an energy source.

KDHE and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) have been meeting with JCL staff regularly since 1993 to assure open communication between all and provide for a forum to discuss all landfill issues. KDHE and the Environment Division of the JCDHE work closely on the review of reports, drawings, and documents required under RCRA Subtitle D and compliance issues including such areas as monitoring of groundwater, well drilling and development, hydrogeological investigations, leachate collection system, storm water management, and groundwater contamination remediation projects.

Operational Permit

The JCL must have an operational permit from both JCDHE as well as KDHE. The JCDHE permit is issued annually and contains both general and specific operating requirements. The first  permit issued by Johnson County to JCL was on January 29, 1982. KDHE began permitting the JCL in 1978.

Landfill Inspections

Starting in 1982, quarterly inspections by JCDHE have taken place at the JCL. Currently, JCDHE and KDHE co-inspect the JCL two times per year. Inspections are based on the KDHE solid waste regulations which include visual inspection of landfill waste disposal operations such as working face area, asbestos disposal, special waste disposal, white goods area with freon collection, composting site, the construction/demolition landfill, and the random waste screening program. A review of records is also performed. An inspection letter is prepared by the Environment Division specifying those areas needing attention or correction. KDHE issues a compliance/non-compliance report.

Groundwater Monitoringlandfill operations

Groundwater monitoring is required at the JCL based on an extensive set of state regulations covering groundwater monitoring systems, applicability, and design. The JCL first installed groundwater wells in 1988 for quarterly sampling and lab testing analysis. Groundwater monitoring wells have continuously been added to the monitoring well system based on landfill expansion. A total of about 45 active monitoring wells are currently used to monitor groundwater movement and quality at the landfill. Each new phase that is opened requires extensive groundwater testing and monitoring.

Water Quality Monitoring

Hayes Creek flows through the JCL and is sampled three times per year at three locations: upstream of landfill activities, center of the landfill, and downstream of the landfill. The water which seeps through the landfill is referred to as leachate and is collected within a leachate collection system. The leachate is sampled annually from each of the six phases of the landfill, as well as the French drain collection system.

 

Johnson County Re-blended Paint

High quality latex paint from Johnson County homes and collected at our Household Hazardous Waste facility is re-blended on site and available for purchase in 5 gallon buckets. Paint is inspected for quality before being separated into various colors. Sale of the paint helps fund the Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste Program.

Color Options (available in 5 gallon buckets) CREDIT & CHECK ONLY, NO CASH

White Paint - $25 (tints vary)

Beige Paint - $15 (tints vary)

Gray Paint - $20 (tints vary)

Brown Paint - $10 (tints vary)

***IMPORTANT***
You must have an appointment to DROP OFF paint.
Schedule an appointment
No appointment is necessary for picking up paint.
For further assistance please call (913)715-6907

Store Hours

Paint may only be purchased during our regular hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8am-12 and 1-3pm
Note: You may also pick up paint during our Saturday Collection Events which occur on the 2nd Saturday of the month starting in March through October 8-11:30am.

Location

5901 Jim Bills Road, Mission, KS 66203
Note: Our facility is located within the Myron K. Nelson Wastewater Treatment Plant just off Foxridge Drive and Lamar. Upon arrival press the white call button at the gate to enter. Follow the signs for the Household Hazardous Waste facility.
Johnson County re-blended paint has been used to paint countless homes throughtout Johnson and Wyandotte County; we've even helped paint a village in Ghana! 

VOLUNTEER WITH US!

Volunteers have fun while helping make a difference in our community. We receive hundreds of cans of paint every week and our volunteers open paint cans, mix colors and re-blend paint. They also help with preparing the steel cans for recycling. Volunteers make a direct impact by reducing waste and protecting our environment.

No experience is necessary. Volunteers do NOT HANDLE ANY hazardous materials. We provide safety glasses and gloves. Volunteers should wear clothing appropriate for working with latex paint and must wear close-toed shoes (no sandals). 

We can accommodate individuals and groups up to 6 people. Volunteers must be 18 and older. For more information please contact Julie Davis: julie.davis@jocogov.org or 913-715-6938.

Multi-Housing

recycling in apartmentThere are many multi-housing complexes, such as apartments, condominiums, and dormitories, that have a recycling program in place. If your complex is not one of those, please consider starting a campaign to bring convenient recycling to you and your neighbors or tenants.

There could be viable reasons why your complex doesn't already have a program. Space for recycle bins could be hard to find and access for trucks picking up the recyclables might be difficult.  Getting other people to use the program can also be time-consuming and frustrating. However, the benefits of  a recycling program can provide motivation to overcome these obstacles.

Here are some tips to help you start a successful recycling program.

Get Support

Ask your neighbors or tenants if recycling is important to them. Enlist everyone that responds positively into your campaign for help. While it is true that one person can make a difference, numbers can make the job easier.

Figure the Cost Benefits

Money is always a huge motivator. You can use that to your advantage. Removing recyclable items from the trash means less trash and fewer pickups. Look up your garbage and recycling rates and talk to your waste management or recycling company about how much money a recycling program could save your complex. A good place to start is a co-mingled program for multi-housing complexes. Management will be more likely to invest in the upfront costs, such as enlarging trash enclosures, posting additional signage, and dedicating staff time for tenant education, if they can see the savings in the long run.

Audit your Waste

Coming up with the cost savings is more precise if you can do an assessment of your complex's waste stream, which is the total amount of trash being thrown away and how much of it can be recycled.  Many recycling partners can aid customers in finding the maximum value  from their recycling streams.

Spread the Word

Once the recycling program is in place, help educate other residents. Use colorful posters to announce the new program. Distribute brochures describing how to separate recyclables from real trash and make sure everyone receives one. Post signs that remind residents to recycle.  Using humor and/or listing statistics can help draw attention to the signs and make people feel good about recycling. Place labeled bins in convenient areas, such as the mail area and the laundry room. Make sure the trash bins and the recycle bins are two different colors so that their purpose is clear.

Please contact us if you need any assistance.

 

Open Burning

burning limbs and brushAs the designated agent for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) within the county, JCDHE enforces the state air quality regulations on open burning. These regulations are designed to protect human health and the environment. JCDHE issues open burning exemptions in accordance with these regulations when prudent and necessary. Under these regulations, certain types of open burning do not require prior consent from JCDHE while others do require written approval. However, your local fire department, which operates on their local fire code, usually requires a burn permit. Always contact your local fire department for an open burning permit.

 

We also investigate open burning complaints to determine compliance with air quality regulations when they are received. Appropriate open burning investigations are referred to KDHE and/or local fire departments for possible enforcement action.

We've developed a "one-stop shopping" site for open burning for Johnson County. You'll find the state air quality regulations as well as an application for obtaining an open burning exemption from our office. To apply for a burning permit from your local fire department or district, we have included their contact information and links to their websites. We also have a page devoted to local burning conditions and if there are any restrictions on open burning within Johnson County.

Open Burning Exemptions

The exemption form should be returned by US mail to our office at least three (3) business days prior to the start of the scheduled burning. You may also fax the completed form to 913-715-6970. Please complete all sections and write legibly.

You must include a map of the burn location with your application. A hand-drawn map is adequate but must be legible. Try using Johnson County's Automated Information Mapping System or another online mapping program to pinpoint the burn location and print the map.

The signed application should be faxed to 913-715-6970 or mailed to:

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
Air Quality Program
11811 S Sunset Drive, Suite 2700
Olathe, KS 66061

 

Ozone Alert Days

SkyCast – The Daily Pollution Forecast

SkyCast is a daily pollution forecast for the Kansas City area. It predicts air quality based on weather conditions and pollution levels. SkyCast uses different colors -- green, yellow, orange and red, to indicate the day's pollution threat. The SkyCast is reported on the website for the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), in the Air Quality section of this website, in the Kansas City Star, and on the local TV weather casts. As seen in this illustration from MARC, the colors indicate how the day's air quality may affect each of us.

What does all the mean? Let's break it down:

skycast forecast explained

 

 

 

 

 

 
About Ozone Alert Days

hot day

When the SkyCast for the day indicates orange or red, it's an Ozone Alert day. On these days, ozone concentrations are expected to reach unhealthy levels.  More than half of the emissions that form ground-level ozone come from everyday activities. By reducing or postponing these activities, you can help bring the levels of ozone pollution down.

From April 1 through October 31, the SkyCast for the next day will be announced by 3:00 in the afternoon. Look for the SkyCast prediction in any of the aforementioned locations.  If the color indicator for the following day's air quality is orange or red, you should take special precautions to protect your health and reduce the amount of ground-level in the Kansas City area.

 
On Ozone Alert days, MARC advises:

  • Cut back on or reschedule strenuous outside activities. Stay indoors in a well-ventilated or air-conditioned building. If you must be active outdoors, try to schedule activity before 11:00 am or after 8:00 pm.
     
  • Drive less. Combine errands and put off less-necessary trips for a cooler day, carpool or use public transit. Bring your lunch to work.
     
  • Avoid fueling. Simply filling your vehicle with gasoline can lead to pollution as fumes escape and tiny drips and spills occur, and gas vapors react with heat and sunlight to form ozone.  If you must fill your tank, do so after dusk. And be sure to avoid "topping off" your tank.
     
  • Mow later. Lawn and garden equipment is responsible for an estimated 9% of the Kansas City area's ozone-forming emissions. Postpone yard work that involves power equipment until the Ozone Alert is over.

 
Get Notified!

You can be the first to know the Air Quality Forecast in Greater Kansas City for the next day. Even better, you can get that forecast on your media of choice: email, Twitter, iPhone and Android.   Get started today with EnviroFlash: Your Environmental News Flash

 
Get Everybody Involved!workplace discussion

Inspire your co-workers to join you in your effort to improve the Kansas City air and reduce Ozone Alert days. The Mid-America Regional Council has a program called Air Quality Workplace Partnership. Over 170 companies from all over Greater Kansas City have already joined. Start your partnership today!

 
SkyCast Posters from MARC

General Poster
Daily Posters - Green  Yellow  Orange  Red
Air Quality Awareness

En Español

Indice Calidad de Aire en Español

 

Ozone and Smog

Ground-level ozone in the Kansas City region is an air quality problem, exceeding the federal health standards at times, and causing health problems for many citizens. Johnson and  Wyandotte Counties in Kansas, and Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties in Missouri, collectively make up the Kansas City "airshed" that is subject to air pollution regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All five counties in two states work together along with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to monitor and evaluate sources of air pollution and work to decrease it.

There is an established "ozone season" for the Kansas City region; April 1st through October 31st every year. Historically, June through August is when most exceedences occur.

The images below show downtown Kansas City on a good ozone day (on left) and a bad ozone day.

 

 

 

 

EPA has set national air quality standards (or health limits) for six air pollutants (also referred to as "Criteria Pollutants".) These are the six criteria pollutants:

  1. lead
  2. sulfur dioxide
  3. particulate matter
  4. carbon monoxide
  5. nitrogen oxides
  6. ground-level ozone.

Find out how each of these pollutants is formed, how they affect human health and public welfare, and what is being done to reduce them at EPA's Six Common Air Pollutants. EPA is required by the Clean Air Act to periodically review the standards for each of these pollutants to insure that the standard is protective of human health and the environment. EPA is tentatively scheduled to start a review of the standard for ozone by the end of 2013.

Kansas City has historically had problems with ozone in the metro area for many years and we are still working to remain within the standard.

Ozone Movies and Maps

The EPA provides real-time animated movies of ozone levels in the metro area. While these movies aren't in the same category as "The Godfather," "True Grit" or "Saving Private Ryan", they are still worth watching.

Ozone movies use real-time air monitoring data to show the Air Quality Index (AQI) which is the ozone air pollution levels throughout the region. Most of the time you will notice ozone forming in the urban area and then moving "out of town" by the afternoon. However, on some occasions. The ozone is being transported from one area to another area when it is actually forming at different rates in the two areas. You can also view yesterday's ozone levels as well. To understand what is really being shown in the ozone movies you must take into account differences in ozone formation rates in different areas as well as transport by varying wind speeds and directions at all times of the day.

There are several views of the map of the United States: the ozone forecast, the current AQI, AQI animation, and more. To get a closer look, click on Kansas or whatever state you're interested in viewing.

EPA's Ozone Maps

But Wait!  There's More...

The Missouri of Natural Resources has movies shot from the Kansas City Air Pollution Camera that is situated on top of the Blue Ridge Mall Office Building in Independence. The movies show the air quality above the Kansas City skyline. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page for an explanation of what you are seeing in the videos.

The Kansas City Air Pollution Camera

 

 

Pool Inspection Process

The Environmental Health Specialist follows specific steps when inspecting the swimming pools in Johnson County:

  1. Pool InspectorOn arrival at the swimming pool property, the inspector looks around the general area to get an overview of the site and to observe any potential safety hazards.
     
  2. The pool water is tested for free chlorine and pH. Free chlorine is the chlorine available to disinfect the water. pH is a measure of the acidity of the water. Below are the levels at which the chemicals should be maintained.
     
    Type of Pool Range of Free Chlorine Range of pH
    Swimming or Wading Pool 1.0 to 3.0 part per million 7.2-7.8
    Spa (Hot Tub) 2.0 to 5.0 parts per million 7.2-7.8
  3. If there is a spa (hot tub) at the property, the maximum temperature allowed is 104º Fahrenheit. There is no minimum temperature for pools or spas.
     
  4. After recording the chemical readings on the inspection form, the pumps and filters in the mechanical room are observed. If a flowmeter is present on the filter, the flow rate in gallons per minute is recorded on the report. A flowmeter is required on new construction or modifications of existing equipment. There are specific flow rates needed to turn over the water of the pool within the required periods stipulated in the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code (Article 5, Section 1).
     
  5. A Pool Licensed Operator (PLO) is required for each pool. During the inspection a review of the daily chemical readings that the PLO has recorded is completed to see if there have been any long-term trends in the chemical readings of the pool. In addition, the inspector verifies that the pool chemicals are being stored in a safe matter.
     
  6. After inspecting the pump room, the inspector walks around all of the pools to look for problems or safety concerns. At the time of the walkabout he willPool Inspector check the stability of all ladders and handrails.
     
  7.  After completing the survey of the pool, the inspector will fill out the inspection form for the property. Anything that is found to be in violation of the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code is noted on the inspection report.
     
  8. If the pool was in operation before the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code was passed in the city in which the pool is located, the pool is "grandfathered" in and does not have to make structural changes to meet the county code. However, if any additions or modifications are made to the swimming pool or equipment, the pool has to meet all of the code.
     
  9. A copy of the inspection report is given to the pool office or left in the pump room. A copy is also kept in the JCDHE files. All inspection data is entered into a database making a pool property's inspection history easy to track.

Pool Operator Info

Certified/Licensed Pool Operators Informationpool marker

A licensed pool operator is any person who completes an application with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, passes an exam, and pays the fee. Licensure is valid for three years. A nationally recognized swimming pool operations course may be accepted at the discretion of JCDHE.

Information Sheets:

Environmental Sanitary Code and Model Health Code

Water Quality

Pool operators are required to check the water quality of the pool at least once every day. Keep in mind that hot sunny days and/or many swimmers can have an effect on the water quality. In those instances, it may be a good idea to check the quality more often.

Guidelines to Follow:

  • Chlorine residual should be maintained between 1 part per million (ppm) and 3 ppm as free available chlorine for swimming pools and between 2 ppm and 5 ppm as free available chlorine for spas.
  • Bromine residual should be maintained between 2 parts per million and 5 parts per million as free available bromine.
  • JCDHE may allow the maintenance of a higher disinfectant residual in special cases.
  • The pH of the pool water should be maintained in a range of 7.2 to 7.8. 
  • The pool water should be sufficiently clear so that the main drain is readily visible from the pool or a black disc 6 inches in diameter placed at the deepest point is clearly visible from the deck of the pool.
  • When there is reason to believe that the pool water poses a potential health hazard, water samples for bacteriological analysis should be taken to ascertain the sanitary quality of the pool water and to aid in proper control.

Required Safety Equipmentring buoy

Every pool covered by the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code is required to have safety equipment that is accessible to bathers. The lifesaving equipment must be mounted in a conspicuous place and distributed around the pool deck where readily accessible. The function should be plainly marked. The equipment must be kept in good repair and ready for use. Bathers must not be allowed to use or tamper with the equipment except for emergency use.

The following is required safety equipment for every 2,000 square feet of water surface:

  • A ring buoy, not more than 15 inches in interior diameter, to which is attached a 60 foot length of 3/16 inch rope.
  • A life pole or shepherd's crook on a non-extendable pole, blunted at both ends, with a minimum length of 12 feet.
  • 24 unit first aid kit kept filled and ready for use.
  • Where no lifeguard is on duty a sign shall be placed in plain view and state, "WARNING, NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY."  In addition, a sign stating, "CHILDREN SHOULD NOT USE POOL WITHOUT AN ADULT IN ATTENDANCE" shall be placed in plain view.
  • Both signs must be printed in 4 inch high upper case lettering.  Lettering may be as narrow as 1.5 inches wide to save space on the signs.
  • Where lifeguard service is required, the pool shall have a readily accessible area designated and equipped for emergency care.

 

Public Notices

Public notices are required for Class I and Class II Operating Permits. They are also often required for changes to regulations, the State Implementation Plan (SIP) or other documents.

Only the public notice is published here. If you wish to review the proposed operating permit, regulation change, etc. we will have a copy in our office for your review. An appointment is necessary so that the air quality staff may answer basic questions related to the permit. Should you wish to make official comments for the record, or have more detailed questions, the public notice will provide the appropriate contact name at KDHE. To make an appointment, simply call our office at 913-715-6900.

Guide to Open Public Records

 

Pumper/Installer Lists

JCDHE licenses installers and designers of private sewage treatment systems regulated under the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code, as well as the sanitary disposal contractors, also known as pumpers, who clean the treatment systems and transport the sewage to the disposal site. These professionals are licensed annually.  Each year the lists on this site are populated as licenses are issued.

JCDHE does not endorse any particular on-site sewage professional.

Licensed Sanitary Disposal Contractors (Pumpers)

In areas of Johnson County covered by the Code, to engage in the pumping or cleaning of a private sewage treatment system or transport sewage to a disposal site, a person is required to be licensed by JCDHE. The companies and individuals listed below have met that requirment.

2017 Licensed Sanitary Disposal Contractors (Pumpers)

Licensed Pumpers for Portable Toilets

2017 Licensed Sanitary Disposal Contractors (Portable Toilets)

Licensed Septic Installers

In areas of Johnson County covered by the Code, to install a new private sewage treatment system or make repairs to an existing system, a person is required to be licensed by JCDHE. The companies and individuals listed below have that requirement.

These approved licensed installers can design conventional systems. Some licensed installers are also licensed designers. These installers are indicated in the list. Licensed designers are persons licensed through examination to design alternative systems such as mound, low pressure pipe or other permitted alternative system.

2017 Licensed Septic Installers

 

R5 Certified Partners

Johnson County Government awarded 48 entities for outstanding environmental achievements related to waste diversion, recycling, composting, purchasing sustainably, and more. Awardees met criteria in the following R5 categories:

  1. REinvest in their company, community, economy and future.
  2. REthink their business process, how they manage resources and purchasing power.
  3. REduce consumption, waste and their environmental impact.
  4. REuse products and consciously buy reusables.
  5. REcycle as a last resort and buy recycled products to support a closed-loop system.

Of the 48, there are 9 businesses, 4 non-profits, 33 schools in the Shawnee Mission School District, and 2 schools in the Blue Valley School District.

2017 AWARDEES:

SealGreen ReUse Concrete Sealing

Tradewind Energy, Inc.

Unity Church of Overland Park

Vestcom New Century

WaterOne

DOWNTOWN OVERLAND PARK AWARDEES:

Craig Sole Designs, Inc.

Freightview, LLC

Hair Lovin’

InterUrban ArtHouse

L'Arche Green Express 

nexus IT group, Inc.

Unique Finds Gifts

The Upper Crust Pie Bakery

SHAWNEE MISSION SCHOOL DISTRICT AWARDEES:

Shawnee Mission East High School

Shawnee Mission North High School

Shawnee Mission South High School

Shawnee Mission West High School

Indian Hills Middle School

Indian Woods Middle School

Westridge Middle School

Apache Innovation School

Belinder Elementary School

Bluejacket-Flint Elementary School

Briarwood Elementary School

Brookridge Elementary School

Brookwood Elementary School

Christa McAuliffe Elementary School

Comanche Elementary School

Corinth Elementary School

Crestview Elementary School

Highlands Elementary School

John Diemer Elementary School

Mill Creek Elementary School

Nieman Elementary School

Oak Park-Carpenter Elementary School

Overland Park Elementary School

Pawnee Elementary School

Prairie Elementary School

Ray Marsh Elementary School

Rhein Bennginghoven Elementary School

Rising Star Elementary School

Rosehill Elementary School

Sunflower Elementary School

Tomahawk Elementary School

Trailwood Elementary School

Westwood View Elementary School

BLUE VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT AWARDEES:

Mission Trail Elementary School

Timber Creek Elementary School

2016 AWARDEES:

Downtown Overland Park Partnership

Go Green Granite

Johnson County Community College

The Land Source

Lifted Logic

MARCK Recycling

Ten Thousand Villages

 

Pages

Environmental Complaints

Business hours for our office are 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.

If you believe the incident requires immediate response outside of business hours, but is not life-threatening, report it by calling our 24-hour response service at (913) 715-6900 and following the prompts in the message.

If you believe the incident is life-threatening, please call 9-1-1.

If the incident involves a chemical or petroleum product spill, gasoline odors inside buildings, or natural gas odors, please call 9-1-1.

We can only respond to swimming pool complaints if the facility is located within Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Olathe, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Spring Hill, Stilwell, and Westwood.

Note: No personal information will be released. If you choose not to enter your name please enter "No Name". Providing your contact information as well as an address where the incident occurred are required for us to respond to this complaint. Your information will not be shared.

Submit an Enviromental Concern:

Please provide your preferred form of contact, either email address or phone number. This information will not be shared.
Providing an accurate location is necessary for us to respond to this issue. This can be a street address, cross streets, or a business name.

Please provide a detailed description so that we can respond appropriately.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Upcoming Events

| View All
June 28, 2017 | 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours

July 4, 2017 | 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

JCDHE Closed on Independence Day

July 5, 2017 | 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours

July 8, 2017 | 8:00 am to 11:30 am

Household Hazardous Waste & Electronic Recycling Event

July 12, 2017 | 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours