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JCDHE and SMSD partnership receives recognition and grants

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment provides a multitude of programs to protect residents and help the environment. One of those programs has resulted in an award-winning partnership with the Shawnee Mission School District.

They have developed and implemented recycling and composting programs in the cafeterias of every Shawnee Mission School and center. Their efforts were recently recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 and were awarded a grant by the United States EPA Region 7 Food Recovery Challenge to further waste diversion efforts.

After several years of work, the last program rollout at Shawnee Mission occurred the week of April 9. This program diverts cafeteria waste by recycling and composting food and paper materials in a partnership with Missouri Organic Recycling. The initiative is estimated to reduce cafeteria waste by 80 percent and divert more than 230 tons of recyclable and compostable materials each year.

Johnson County and the Shawnee Mission School District were also awarded a grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Waste which will allow the expansion of recycling options to the stadiums located at certain Shawnee Mission schools. The grant will provide recycling bins as well as signage, with Shawnee Mission contributing some additional bins as well as trash cans. These continued efforts show the commitment both Johnson County and Shawnee Mission Schools have to conserving resources, diverting waste and protecting the environment.