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We understand the importance of protecting our planet. Since Johnson County Government created its first sustainability committee in 2004, being mindful of our impact on the environment has become a priority in the construction and maintenance of County buildings. The United States Green Building Council has certified two of our buildings as LEED Platinum and five others as LEED Gold. We’ve expanded our fleet of alternative fuel and Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles and made strides towards ambitious waste goals. We also offer our residents many ways to make sustainability part of their lives through The Jo transit system, and recycling opportunities for Household Hazardous Waste, expired medications and unwanted electronics. Together we can make a difference!

Environmental News

Check your home for radon

When was the last time you had your home tested for radon? According to the Surgeon General, this tasteless and odorless gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. The only way to know if you have radon in the home is to test for it. The Kansas Department of Health recommends that all Kansans test their homes for radon, and if the levels are above 4.0 pCi/l, the homes should be fixed.

Do-It-Yourself radon test kits are available at the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension office. Click here to learn more about this potentially life-saving tool that will give you and your family peace of mind.

Recycle your unwanted electronics

It can be difficult to get rid of electronics you don’t use anymore in a convenient, safe and “green” way. That’s why our Department of Health and Environment is now accepting any item with a battery or a cord at our Household Hazardous Waste collection events. You must make an appointment by calling 913-715-6907.

Our next opportunity to dispose of your e-waste is July 12 from 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Click here for all the details on the July 12 event. We also have more resources on electronic recycling available here.

Emerald Ash Borer Spreads in Johnson County

Emerald Ash Borer infested Ash tree in Wyandotte County Kansas May 2014

This image is symptomatic of the early stages of Emerald Ash Borer infestation in an ash tree. Image taken by Wyandotte County K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent Lynn Lowery, May 26, 2014.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) confirmed Tuesday, June 24 that 3 adult emerald ash borer (EAB) were caught at a Roeland Park trap tree and 1 adult EAB was caught at a trap tree in Shawnee during a trap check in Johnson County, Kan. The newest confirmations were made by a KDA entomologist. The insect was first found in northern Johnson County in 2013. KDA is monitoring the insects’ movement through the use of traps.

“Up until now, we have been cautioning people to take a wait-and-see approach and not treat their Ash trees, said Dennis Patton, county Extension agent/horticulture. “With these new confirmations it is clear that the EAB population is spreading in Johnson County. We recommend spring treatments to tree owners, but only for valuable trees in excellent-to-good condition.”

Patton went on to add, “Tree owners need to understand that this is not a one-and-done deal. If you decide to treat your trees it’s with the understanding that it is for the life of the tree.”

Green and white ash have long been popular street trees. Since its first detection in Michigan in 2002, emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis, a wood boring insect, has killed millions of ash trees in the native woodlands and suburban streets within its path. The insect is now present in twenty three states. Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation estimates that there are 4.6 million ash trees in the region at risk.

Patton’s advice from last year still stands. “The best recommendation at this time is not to panic. You have time to assess your situation and determine the best course of action, which can range from treatment to letting nature run its course.”

Patton stressed that treatments should be done in the spring. Before any action is taken, homeowners should assess the health and value of their tree. Preventive treatment options are available, but should only be considered for trees that are healthy and a value to the landscape

The Extension office has on their website detailed information with points tree owners should consider when dealing with emerald ash borer. Or they may call the Extension office at (913) 715-7000.

Johnson County adds E-waste recycling- By Appointment Only

Schedule an Appointment Today to recycle your old computers, TVs, and other electronics. Johnson County has added electronic waste recycling to the monthly Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection events, so you can recycle your e-waste with your paint and other household chemicals. 

These collection events occur on the 2nd Saturday of the month and are by appointment only. Each year more than 2 million tons of electronics wind up in a landfill. Do your part  To schedule a drop-off appointment call 913-715-6907.

Dates: July 12th, Aug. 9th, Sept. 13th, Oct. 11th

  • $15 for any CRT TV under 27 in.
  • $35 for any CRT TV over 27 in. & wood console TVs
  • Everything else is Free!!

Appointments will fill up fast so call now!! 913-715-6907

For more information on the recycling company: MRC Recycling

Great job going green!

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Green Business Awards. The awards recognize businesses that lead the way in waste reduction and sustainability in Johnson County. This year’s winners serve as an example that a business can be successful and care for the environment whether it employs 10 or 1,000. Each recipient has gone beyond the recycling of plastic and paper and collectively have diverted several thousand tons of material from regional landfills. This year’s winners include:

  • Farmers Insurance KC Claims Center
  • Farmers Insurance National Property Claims Center
  • ITW Professional Brands 
  • National Seminars Training
  • Shawnee Mission Health
  • Sprint
  • WaterOne

The Department of Health & Environment can help a business jump start or even enhance its recycling program. Solid Waste specialists from the Johnson County Health and Environment Department are available to provide free waste and recycling evaluations as well as consultation for your business to save money and reduce waste. Learn more here.

Free Online Mapping Training

FREE CLASSES! - AIMS offers free training classes to the public and our partners each month. We have scheduled several classes for the first half of 2014. These classes offer hands-on training on the AIMS Online Mapping application as well as a variety of tips and tricks for getting the most out of the application to help you find what you're looking for. MyAIMS classes offer additional capabilities for our data partners (cities, utilities, etc.) to access information not available to the public, such as recorded documents and utility data. For more information and to enroll, click here.

Commercial Customers May Save Money in Voluntary Program

Johnson County Wastewater's commercial customers may participate in a voluntary program to obtain credit for water which does not enter the department's collection system. In order to receive credit, Johnson County Wastewater requires that this water be continuously metered via a deduct meter. A deduct water meter measures the amount of water not discharging into the sanitary sewer system. This would include water used for lawn sprinkler systems or cooling towers. Here is additional information about the Sewer Use Credit Program.

Johnson County asks homeowners to recycle their lawns

Johnson Count's Department of Health and Environment and Stormwater Management Program have teamed up to inform the public of the importance of recycling their lawns. Johnson County's Recycle Your Lawn campaign encourages homeowners to stop bagging up grass clippings, keep dead leaves out of the storm drain, and return nutrients back onto the lawn by using a mower to mulch the grass and leaves.

"Recycling your lawn is a simple, healthy way to manage yard waste and keep it out of landfills and out of storm drains," says Brandon Hearn, Solid Waste Management Specialist, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. "Grass clippings decompose quickly and recycle valuable nutrients back to the lawn. Fallen leaves can also be finely chopped with a mulching mower right onto the lawn or placed in a backyard compost bin."

"Dumping leaves and grass clippings in storm drains is not only illegal, it can also severely impact water quality in our rivers and streams and cause flooding," says Heather Schmidt, Johnson County Water Quality Specialist. "Yard waste can carry fertilizers and pesticides from your yard causing pollution and piles of leaves and grass can lead to oxygen depletion in water and ultimately result in fish kills."

Johnson County's Department of Health and Environment and Stormwater Management Program have partnered on RecycleYourLawn.com

 

Residents asked to recycle their lawns

With the upcoming anticipated sunshine and long holiday weekend, Kansas Citians may spend some of next week preparing their lawns for winter. That’s why Johnson County’s Department of Health and Environment and Stormwater Management Program have teamed up to inform the public of the importance of recycling their lawns.

“Dumping leaves and grass clippings in storm drains is not only illegal, it can also severely impact water quality in our rivers and streams and cause flooding,” says Heather Schmidt, Johnson County Water Quality Specialist. ”Yard waste can carry fertilizers and pesticides from your yard causing pollution and piles of leaves and grass can lead to oxygen depletion in water and ultimately result in fish kills.”

Johnson County’s Recycle Your Lawn campaign encourages homeowners to stop bagging up grass clippings, keep dead leaves out of the storm drain, and return nutrients back onto the lawn by using a mower to mulch the grass and leaves.

“Recycling your lawn is a simple, healthy way to manage yard waste and keep it out of landfills and out of storm drains,” says Brandon Hearn, Solid Waste Management Specialist, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “Grass clippings decompose quickly and recycle valuable nutrients back to the lawn. Fallen leaves can also be finely chopped with a mulching mower right onto the lawn or placed in a backyard compost bin.”

Johnson County’s Department of Health and Environment and Stormwater Management Program have partnered on RecyleYourLawn.com, with many tips and videos on mulching, backyard composting, and Johnson County’s yard waste rules.

Billing Change for JCW Customers in 2014

In January 2014, Johnson County Wastewater completed a multi-year conversion of its billing method to a unified rate model. This means that the current wastewater bills look similar to other utility bills such as water, gas, and electric and is now in line with industry best practices. The current Johnson County Wastewater charge reflects both the costs to operate its system and to invest/reinvest in the capital improvements necessary to operate the system. 

In 2013, the capital cost was a uniform rate; all single family residences were charged the same capital amount, regardless of the impact they had on the system.  This charge appeared as Capital Charge (EDU) on the bimonthly bill and was $24.76 bimonthly. Prior to 2013, this charge appeared as a line item titled WASTEWTR CAP on the real estate tax statement. 

Under the unified rate model, both operation and capital charges are based on a fixed Service Charge to provide customer service, and a variable Volume Charge based on the volume of water used and discharged to the sanitary sewer system for treatment.

In 2014, Johnson County Wastewater implemented an overall revenue requirement (expenses) increase of 6.5 percent. The amount customers are billed varies from one customer to the next as it is based on their Average Winter Water Usage (AWWU). Those who have a greater impact on the sanitary sewer system will now pay more than those who contribute less. The following table demonstrates how the components of the wastewater bill changed from 2013 to 2014:

2013 Charges:

  • Service Charge (SC):
    • Operations portion of SC = $5.40
    • Capital portion of SC = $0.00
  • Volume Charge:
    • Operations portion of vol. charge = $2.67/1,000 gallons ($0.00267 per gal.)
    • Capital portion of vol. charge = $0.00
  • Capital Charge:
    • EDU fixed capital charge = $148  ($24.67 per bi-monthly bill)   

2014 Charges:

  • Service Charge (SC):
    • O&M portion of SC = $6.33
    • Capital portion of SC= $5.73
  • Volume Charge:
    • O&M portion of vol. charge = $3.27/1,000 gallons ($0.00327 per gal.)
    • Capital portion of vol. charge = $2.24/1,000 gallons ($0.00224 per gal.)

(Please note that Johnson County does not provide tax advice to its customers regarding the deductibility or non-deductibility of its utility charges for federal or state income tax purposes, and advises customers to consult their CPA or other tax professional regarding proper treatment of such charges.)

Upcoming Events

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July 29, 2014 | 7:30 am to 9:30 am

WIC Community Garden

August 5, 2014 | 7:30 am to 9:30 am

WIC Community Garden

August 9, 2014 | 8:00 am to 11:30 am

Electronics Recycling Event

August 12, 2014 | 7:30 am to 9:30 am

WIC Community Garden

August 19, 2014 | 7:30 am to 9:30 am

WIC Community Garden