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johnson county residents

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

Waste Free Wednesday- Greening Your Holiday Party

As part of Waste Free WednesdayJohnson County Department of Health and Enviornment wants to show you how you can green your holiday party. Rethink how you celebrate this holiday season by following these easy tips to not only reduce your waste, but save resources and money too.

  • Provide recycling containters for cans, bottles, and other recyclables. If you have backyard composting collect the compostable food scraps too.
  • Provide reusable plates, cups, utensils, and linens. If you don't have enough consider having people bring their own.
  • Encourage your guests to carpool or when the weather is nicer provide people with information on bike and public transit routes.
  • Distribute invitations electronically or by using social media such as Facebook.
  • Consider using locally grown food if you are preparing food yourself. Take a trip to one of the local Farmer's Markets to get ingredients. Many local options are available even during the wintertime.
  • Use decorations that are reusable and can be used again for another party. You can also create your own decorations instead of buying them from the store.
  • Provide condiments in bulk instead of the individually wrapped sizes.Condiment packets are not recyclable, providing another option will allow you to save these items from entering the landfill.
  • Consider having your guests bring a certain item to donate whether it is food for a food pantry or gently used winter clothes.   
Understanding the 2014 JCW Bill
Johnson County Hosts Last Electronic Waste Recycling Event of 2014 - October 11th

The Johnson County Household Hazardous Materials Collection Program will once again be collecting electronic waste for recycling in addition to household hazardous waste (HHW) on Saturday, October 11th from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This will mark the final collection event of 2014; residents of Johnson County will still be able to recycle their household hazardous waste year round. 

Residents of Johnson County who wish to participate must make an appointment to drop off their electronic waste and HHW for recycling and may do so by calling 913-715-6907. September's event was a huge success and resulted in over 5,000 lbs of electronics being recycled.

Accepted electronic items are any electronic devices that have a cord or batteries including but not limited to cameras, CD players, cell phones, all computer equipment, faxes, printers, video games, small kitchen appliances and more. All items are recycled for free except CRT (tube) televisions smaller than 27 inches ($20 fee) and wooden console televisions and CRT's larger than 27 inches ($40 fee). Only Cash and Check. More information on the acceptable items can be found on the vendor; MRC Recycling website at www.midwrc.net

Electronics including TVs, computers, cell phones, and many other items contain usable materials such as plastics and metals. They also contain several chemicals that should be kept out of a landfill. So before you toss that old cell phone or computer, printer or TV; recycle it.

The HHW facility is open year round and accepts appointments for household hazardous waste throughout the week. Electronic waste is only accepted during the special collection event. For more information call 913-715-6907 or go online by clicking here.

An electronic waste recycling event will also be held the second Saturday in October.

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.