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Fire Departments

Before conducting any open burning operations you will need to contact your local fire department to find out what permits they require.

The telephone number for the Emergency Communications Center is 913-432-1717 or 913-826-1001.  You can call this number if no one answers at the fire station.  The telephone number for Johnson County Med-Act is 913-715-1950.

For emergencies, please call 9-1-1.

Bonner Springs Fire Department
Fax 913-422-7109
PO Box 38
Bonner Springs, KS  66012

Consolidated Fire District #2
Serving Northeast Johnson County
Fax 913-432-7867
3921 W 63rd St
Prairie Village, KS  66208

Johnson County Fire District #1
Serving Southwest Johnson County including Gardner and Edgerton
Fax 913-782-5709
490 New Century Pkwy
New Century, KS  66031

Fire District #2, County of Johnson, Kansas
Serving Johnson and Miami Counties including Spring Hill
Fax 913-681-2786
19495 Metcalf Ave
Stilwell, KS  66085

Leawood Fire Department
Fax 913-681-2399
14801 Mission Rd
Leawood, KS  66224

Lenexa Fire Department
Fax 913-888-2143
9620 Pflumm Rd
Lenexa, KS  66215

Northwest Consolidated Fire District
Serving Northwest Johnson County including De Soto
Fax 913-583-1363
9745 Kill Creek Rd
De Soto, KS  66018

Olathe Fire Department
Fax 913-971-7982
1225 S Hamilton Circle
Olathe, KS  66061

Overland Park Fire Department (serves Overland Park and Merriam)
Fax 913-895-8465
12401 Hemlock
Overland Park, KS  66213

Shawnee Fire Department (serves Shawnee and Lake Quivira)
Fax 913-631-1628
6501 Quivira Rd
Shawnee, KS  66216



How long is my certification valid for?

              Certification is valid for 2 years from the date of confirmation.

Is there a cost for participation?

              No. Seeking certification is free for Johnson County businesses and organizations.

Is participation in the Waste Diversion Assistance Program required for certification?    

No. An organization may seek certification independent of participating in the Waste Diversion Assistance Program. There are several benefits of participating in the Waste Diversion Assistance Program and can increase the amount of points you earn in the certification process, but it is not a prerequisite for pursuing Green Business Certification status.

Are organizations like religious institutions and non-profit organizations eligible for certification?

Yes. Most institutions are eligible for office/retail certification assuming their operations are similar to an office environment.  If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact Trent Thompson 913-715-6938

We are a business that leases space. Can we get credit for actions the property manager/owner is taking independent of our actions?

Yes, you made the decision to be a tenant at your location, so take credit for the good things your property manager/owner is doing. Encourage and help them to make more environmentally beneficial improvements and get more credit on your application!

Does certification cover all aspects of, and the environmental impacts from, a business’ operations?

No. The scope of certification is limited to the areas covered on the assessment (waste, energy, water, engagement, transportation, natural systems, and innovation) and to applicable locations and/or activities conducted in Johnson County. For example, a business that has an office in Johnson County but does manufacturing outside the County could certify its Johnson County office but not the manufacturing facility. Non-Johnson County locations can receive assistance from either Mid-America Regional Council and/or Bridging the Gap depending on the location.


Failing Systems

A failing system is any private sewage treatment system which, for any reason, does not function as designed or as prescribed by the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code.

What are the signs of trouble?

  • Foul odors in your home or yard tell you that your system is not working well.failing system
  • Slow or backed up drains may be caused by a clog in the house pipes, septic tank, soil absorption field, or roof vent for your sewer line.
  • Wet spongy ground or lush plant growth may indicate a leaky septic tank or failing soil absorption field.
  • Repeated intestinal illnesses in your family may occur if your water is contaminated by poorly treated wastewater. Have your drinking water tested annually for coliform bacteria and nitrates (for water wells or other private drinking source).
  • Algal blooms and excessive weed growth in nearby ponds or lakes can be caused by poorly treated wastewater discharging from septic systems.

File an online report of a failing sewage treatment system on this site.

Repair and Corrections

Any private sewage treatment system that is being repaired or replaced shall have plans and specifications submitted to and reviewed by the Environment Division of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE). No repairs or corrections shall be performed without a permit and inspection as required by the Code. All repairs/replacements must be performed by an installer who has a current license with JCDHE. A list of licensed installers is available on this site. 

What's Involved?

water above groundThe county becomes aware of private systems in need of repair when the homeowner calls with concerns about their system, or when a concerned citizen calls and reports the problem confidentially. Either way, once the report is received, an initial visit is made to assess the situation and to gather all pertinent information. Once it is determined that a repair or replacement of the system is necessary, the homeowner will need to apply and pay for a soil profile. A letter will follow with recommendations regarding the repair/replacement. Before the repair or replacement begins, the homeowner will need to apply for a permit and a licensed installer must submit a drawing of the proposed replacement or repair. The homeowner will be notified when the permit is ready to be issued. There is a fee for the permit. Both a final construction and final grade inspection will must be completed and approved by JCDHE.

Why all the Fuss?

The mission of the Environment Division is to assist in the protection of the health, welfare and environment of the community through programs and activities that monitor, control, and/or eliminate harmful and potentially harmful environmental factors. Sewage is potentially very harmful if it is not treated properly.


Environmental Audits

The Environment Division maintains the most comprehensive site investigation database in Johnson County.  If you need to know the environmental history within and around a particular property, the following process is followed.

Submit a Letter of Request

Your letter needs to contain the following information:

  • Site address and/or 1/4 Section, Township, and Range.
  • Facility name and ownership of site in question
  • Map of site, if available, indicating the site location

Submit Payment

A fee of $100.00 applies for each address requested. Letter of request and payment can be mailed to Johnson County Department of Health and Environment at 11811 South Sunset Drive, Suite 2700, Olathe, Kansas  66216. For credit card payment please call 913-715-6915 or email.

Receive Investigation Information

Upon receipt of the letter of request and audit fee, we will search our Investigations database for all environmental events related to the specific site and, if requested, areas around the site.

When the search is complete, we will reply with a letter summarizing applicable investigation data.

Additional investigation related documents may be available from the city within which the site is located or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. KDHE can be contacted at 1-785-842-4600.

If you have any questions about this service, please contact us at 913-715-6936 or email Brandon Hearn.

Electronic Recycling



Please Note: Our Household Hazardous Waste facility no longer accepts electronic waste. Instead please check out one of the locations listed below:


Electronic Recycling Drop-Off Locations

Secure e-Cycle recycles and accepts any item with a cord except for items that contain Freon, and large appliance including deep freezers, refrigerators, and dehumidifiers. For a complete list of accepted items

Secure e-Cycle will also be accepting electronics during our 2nd Saturday Collection events at our Household Hazardous Waste facility:
Located just across the highway from our Household Hazardous Waste facility:
3052 S. 24th St., Kansas City, KS 66106
Monday-Friday 9am to 3:30pm
2nd Saturday of the month 8am to 11:45am (March-October)
(please note: Saturday is cash or check only)

The City of Olathe accepts electronic waste free of charge to Olathe residents only at their Household Hazardous Waste Facility. By appointment only.

Other businesses that accept electronic waste:

MRC Recycling
MRC Recycling is a fully certified electronic waste recycler. They accept residential drop-offs at their Kansas City and Independence locations. Fees apply for certain items. 

Synetic Technologies
Located in North Kansas City, MO. Fees apply for certain items.

Best Buy
Best Buy offers an electronic and appliance Trade-In and Recycling program. This program is available at each retail location and has been extended with a home haul service for large appliances and TV's. Fees apply for certain items.

Customers can recycle e–waste by simply bringing their used electronics to any U.S. Staples store. All brands are accepted, regardless of whether or not the equipment was purchased at Staples. A recycling fee of $10 per piece of large equipment is charged to cover recycling costs. CRT computer monitors are accepted for free. Smaller computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and speakers are accepted at no charge.Televisions are NOT accepted.

RecycleSpot is an easy-to-use, comprehensive list of recycling and reuse services, including those that accept electronics and electronic media, in Greater Kansas City.

Electronic Waste Resources

Sustainable Management of Electronics- EPA

National Center for Electronics Recycling

Disposal Options

It can be difficult to dispose of some items. We encourage you to look for responsible options that help to protect the environment. We offer some advice here. Please call our office at 913-715-6907 if you have questions about any disposal.

Tree and Brush Debris

The first thing you should do is contact your City Hall office for disposal options. A few cities, such as Olathe, have a free drop-off location for tree limbs and brush if you reside in the city. Most cities will have disposal options for tree and brush debris following a major storm event. It can be hauled to the Olathe composting site. There is no charge for Olathe residents but there is a fee for non-residents. A landscaping company or waste hauler can pick up the debris for a fee. It can also be cut up or mulched and composted or used for landscaping. If possible, a brush pile can be open burned after calling the local fire department and/or JCDHE for an open burning permit.

Open Burning Information

Large Appliances

Many cities have special bulky item pickup events during the year. Your waste hauler usually has a bulky item pickup once a month or several times a year. The items can be hauled to the Johnson County Landfill or the Olathe Transfer Station within the County. Many bulky items may be recyclable. Visit MARC's RecycleSpot for recycling locations. Items can also be hauled to a reuse store such as Habitat for Humanity or Habitat Kansas City Restore. Large appliances with CFCs need special attention for proper handling of the Freon.


There are many tire dealers and auto shops that will take your waste tires. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has many regulations regarding storage and beneficial use of waste tire on property located in Kansas. The Johnson County Household Hazardous Materials Program offers up free drop-off of up to five tires if the tires are from your personal residence with a scheduled appointment.

Disposal Facilities

Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

Waste Management Landfill
17955 Holliday Drive, Shawnee, KS  66217
(913) 631-3300

Construction/Demolition Landfills

APAC-KS, Inc - KC Division
Stanley C/D Landfill
7100 W. 167th Street, Overland Park, KS 66085
(913) 814-6700

Asphalt Sales Company, Inc
23200 W. 159th Street, Olathe, KS 66061
(913) 788-8806

Hamm Olathe C/D Landfill
Olathe C/D Landfill
23775 W. 159th Street, Olathe, KS 66061
(913) 856-4777

Johnson County Landfill, Inc.- Waste Management
17955 Holliday Drive, Shawnee, KS  66217
(913) 631-3300

Solid Waste Transfer Stations

City of Lenexa
7700 Cottonwood, Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 477-7880

City of Olathe/Waste Management
1681 S Valley Road, Olathe, KS 66061
(913) 971-9311

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facilities

City of Olathe
1385 S Robinson Drive, Olathe, KS 66061
(913) 971-9311

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
5901 Jim Bills Road, Mission, KS 66203
(913) 715-6907

Materials Recovery Facilities

MARCK Industries of Kansas City, LLC
800 N Center Street, Gardner, KS 66030
(913) 738-7487

Composting Facilities

City of Olathe
127th and Hedge Lane, Olathe, KS 66061
(913) 971-9311

Deffenbaugh Industries
17955 Holliday Drive, Shawnee, KS 66217
(913) 631-3300


Decommissioning Tanks

Any septic tank that is not being used must have the sewage removed by a licensed sanitary disposal contractor. The top cover of the septic tank must be removed and crushed into the septic tank. The septic tank is then filled with sand, gravel, earth, concrete or other approved material. The Environment Division recommends that sand or gravel be used.

The septic tank must be inspected by an Environmental Health Specialist prior to its being covered with soil. There is an application that must be submitted with the required fee prior to the inspection of the decommissioned tank. Applications and applicable fees can be found on the Forms and Fees page.

More Information

Plugging Cisterns, Cesspools, Septic Tanks, and Other Holes
(Publication from the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Office)


Contractor/Installer Licensing

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. Following are the environmental code regulations for these professionals and the applications necessary for initial licensing and renewal.

Installers and Designers

A valid installer license must be issued to any person who installs or engages in the installation or repair of a private sewage treatment system. Employees of an installer who has a valid license are not required to be separately licensed. Licensed installers may, without separate license, design conventional and shallow in-ground systems that are pumped or gravity fed, but no others.

A valid designer license must be issued to any person who conducts or performs design services for any private sewage treatment system regulated under the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code. Employees of a designer who has a valid license are not required to be separately licensed.  A designer license is required for the design of any alternative system such as mound, low pressure pipe, or other permitted alternative system. A licensed professional engineer will be considered licensed to perform the services of designer.

Installer licenses expire on December 31 of each year and must be renewed annually on or before January 15 of the following year.

Designer licenses are valid for a term of two years, running concurrently with the calendar year and expire on December 31 of each succeeding calendar year. Licenses may be renewed on or before January 15 of any succeeding year.

All fees for either license are due at the time of application of license or renewal.

The applicant will be required to demonstrate adequate knowledge of the regulations pertaining to private sewage treatment systems and general engineering principles pertaining to such systems. Actual experience, education, or professional licensing of the applicant may be considered in the granting or denial of an application, including prior revocations or disciplinary action.

Application requirements include attendance at an appropriate training workshop and satisfactory completion of a written examination. The workshop shall be conducted or sponsored by JCDHE or other recognized governmental, educational, or professional institution. The written exam shall be administered by the Environment Division and cover subjects related to public health concerns, sewage treatment techniques, standards for design or construction or installation of sewage treatment systems, sewage treatment theory, and/or hydraulics. Any applicant who fails to satisfactorily complete the written examination may retake the exam after thirty days.

Every person licensed as an installer or designer must obtain a minimum of three hours of approved continuation training each calendar year. No license will be renewed without submission of a certification of the training to the Director of JCDHE. The training must be directly related to the knowledge requirements necessary for issuance of the license under Chapter 2, Section 3 of the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code. Attendance of any workshop conducted, sponsored or approved by JCDHE or any applicable professional association will meet this training requirement.

The licensed installer must have and maintain insurance for liability and workmanship in amounts and forms as designated by the administering agency. A copy of the certificate of insurance must be filed with the agency. The licensed installer may also be required to be bonded.

A license may be revoked for failure to comply with the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code. The revocation procedure will comply with the provisions of Chapter I of the code.


  • Experience Questionnaire for Installer Licensing
  • Experience Questionnaire for Designer Licensing

Find these forms and associated fees on the Forms and Fees page.

Sanitary Disposal Contractors (Pumpers)

A valid sanitary disposal contractor license is required to engage in the pumping or cleaning of a private sewage treatment system or the transport of sewage to a disposal site. Employees of a sanitary disposal contractor who has a valid license are not required to be separately licensed. The license shall also designate the vehicles to be used by the licensee.

Licenses expire on December 31 of each year and must be renewed annually on or before January 15 of any following year. All required license fees are due at the time of application.

Licensed sanitary disposal contractors must comply with the following performance requirements:

  • When cleaning a septic tank, a licensed contractor must remove the liquid, sludge, and scum, leaving no more than three inches depth of sewage.
  • All equipment must be maintained so as to ensure that no spillage of sewage will occur during transportation, and that his employees are not subjected to undue health hazards. All sewage must be transported in an enclosed tank.
  • Sewage must be transported only in vehicles approved for that purpose by JCDHE. Each vehicle must be inspected prior to issuance or renewal of a license to a sanitary disposal contractor. The vehicle must be kept in good working condition and both the name of the licensee and the sanitary disposal contractor license number are to be clearly displayed on both sides of the vehicle in bold letters not less than five inches in height.
  • Disposal of collected sewage may only take place at a site designated by JCDHE. A report stating the dates, sources, volume, and disposal site of each load or partial load of sewage or waste transported during the preceding calendar month must be submitted to the JCDHE Director, or her designee, not later than the 10th day of each month. This report must be on a form furnished by JCDHE. It must contain the signature of the person submitting the report and must bear the signature(s) of the responsible person operating the disposal site for each load or partial load received at the site from the contractor.
  • Prior to the issuance or renewal of a license the applicant will be required to demonstrate adequate knowledge of the regulations pertaining to sanitary disposal contractors. The administering authority may consider prior conduct of the applicant in localities not subject to the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code in the granting or renewal of a license as well as any prior violations to the Code.
  • The license holder must comply with any applicable federal, state, and local regulations or law including, but not limited to, those set forth now or hereafter adopted in Standards for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge, volume 58, number 32, page 9388, of the Federal Register, February 19, 1993, as amended.

 A license may be revoked for failure to comply with the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code.



Commercial Systems

The Commercial/Industrial On-Site Program issues permits to install and operate non-residential septic systems where property owners are not served by a public wastewater collection system. There are about 400 entities subject to regulation under this program including businesses, government agencies, institutions, and others. Most of the on-site systems consist of a holding tank which has been installed to receive only domestic wastewater. These holding tanks must be pumped on an as-needed basis by a licensed Johnson County sanitary disposal contractor. This domestic wastewater must be disposed of at an approved wastewater treatment plant. In a few cases, commercial/industrial systems involve components more similar to residential systems such as septic tanks and lateral fields. 

Obtaining Commercial/Industrial Sewage Treatment Permit

All newly constructed commercial or industrial establishments are required to install a holding tank for the disposal of their waste if sewers are not available. The following are required steps to obtain the permit and the subsequent installation of the holding tank.

In most instances a holding tank will be required for the commercial property.  However, a soil profile analysis may need to be conducted if a conventional system needs to be installed.  A completed Profile Analysis Application and fee must be submitted for the soil profile analysis. A backhoe operator must meet a Johnson County Environmental Health Specialist at the site for the analysis.

When making an application for a permit the following materials must be submitted for review:

  • A completed application (only if a conventional system is required);
  • A design plan drawn by a JCDHE-licensed installer or designer for the installation of the holding tank;
  • A set of floor plans that includes the plans for plumbing;
  • A letter from a JCDHE-licensed sanitary sewage disposal contractor stating that they are contracted to pump the holding tank.

The permit to install the holding tank will be issued after the plan review has been completed. The owner/agent will be contacted when the permit is ready. The permit will be available at the Environment Division office once the appropriate fees are paid.

Once the permit has been issued to the owner/agent, the holding tank may be installed. The Environment Division must inspect and approve the final construction and final grade. The appropriate county or city office will be notified by JCDHE once the final grade is approved.

After the final grade has been approved the county or city Building Codes office will be notified and the Operating Permit will be issued.

The Operating Permit must be posted in a conspicuous place for public view.

Types of Operating Permits

There are two types of operating permits issued.

Class A permit is issued for private onsite sewage treatment systems that have either the potential to discharge commercial waste or employ twenty (20) or more full-time equivalents per day.

Class B permit is issued for private onsite sewage treatment systems that are used solely for domestic waste and employ less than twenty (20) full-time equivalents.

Forms You Need:

  • Soil Profile Analysis (only if a conventional system is required)
  • Application for Commercial/Industrial On-Site Wastewater System

Find these forms and associated fees on the Form and Fees page.

Annual Permitting

Permits for the operation of a commercial/industrial on-site system are issued annually. The term of the permit is the calendar year and the Application for Annual Commercial/Industrial On-Site Sewage System Operation Permit must be completed and a fee paid. All permits are renewed at the beginning of the year, and a fee is charged, depending upon the size and type of operations discharging to the on-site system. The fee covers the cost of the annual inspection, enforcement activities, and the tracking of all wastewater to its proper point of disposal.

Facility Inspections on Installed Systems

Each year a JCDHE Environmental Health Specialist inspects each of the nearly 400 locations where on-site wastewater systems are permitted for commercial/industrial, institutional, and governmental entities. The purpose of the inspection is fourfold:

  1. To verify that the system is operating properly and not causing public health or environmental problems;
  2. To interview a representative of the permittee’s operations as to any increases in the number of employees, or process changes which might generate more wastewater and necessitate system modifications;
  3. To ascertain the quality of service being provided by the county-licensed sanitary disposal contractors who retrieve the wastewater and provide a current copy of all licensed sanitary disposal contractors, and
  4. To educate the permittee regarding the proper operation of the on-site system, public health and environmental issues, and to provide a copy of the Commercial/Industrial On-Site Sewage Disposal Inspection results.

System Failure

A failing system is any on-site sewage treatment system which, for any reason, does not function as designed or as prescribed by the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code.

Remediation of the Problem

When JCDHE becomes aware of a commercial/industrial failing on-site system through the annual inspection process or via complaint, a number of steps ensue to correct the problem. They are as follows:

  1. An initial visit is made to the location to assess and document the situation and gather all pertinent information – who, what, when, where, how.
  2. The responsible permit holder and/or landlord is contacted, advised of the problem, a solution is outlined, and cooperation is solicited for resolution.
  3. When cooperation is gained and a repair is specified, a JCDHE-licensed designer or designer/installer is contacted by the applicant to begin the system repair process.
  4. If the system is an on-site sewage treatment system that includes a septic tank and lateral field or a new holding tank, major work may be necessary to correct the problem. If this is the case the steps specified for obtaining a soil profile analysis and ultimately a new permit will be followed. The installer must submit a copy of the drawing of the proposed system and an application for the permit before the permit is issued.
  5. If the repair is classified as a minor repair, a minor repair permit is issued, specific conditions for the repair and its operation are made.
  6. Final construction and final grade inspections are made regardless of the type of repair done.


Clean Air Lawn Care

Clean air lawn care

Did you know that as much as 10% of contributing pollution comes from gasoline powered lawn care equipment? Those noisy mowers do more than hurt your hearing. They emit harmful gas into the air. High levels of air pollution mixed with a hot sunny day is the recipe for dangerous ozone levels. Ground-level ozone affects the respiratory system, causes scarring in the lungs, impairs breathing and damages vegetation. Children and adults of all ages who are active outdoors, and people with existing respiratory diseases air particularly sensitive to ground-level ozone. Adopting air-friendly lawn care practices can help improve the air quality in Kansas City.

Mowing one hour emits as much pollution as driving a car from KC to Wichita One push mower can emit as much harmful gas in an hour as eleven modern cars. A riding mower can emit as much as 34 cars! By making the switch from gas powered lawn equipment to a more air-friendly machine, you can help prevent another Ozone Alert day in Kansas City. Also, prevent spilling gas when you fuel up your equipment by using a funnel or a spill-proof gas can. Mowing after 7 pm, especially on Ozone Alert days can prevent ground-level formation. Right from your front yard you can impress your neighbors and show them that you care about the health of your community by practicing natural lawn care.

Take Steps to Reduce Emissions

Mow Late in the Day

To reduce the amount of ozone that will form, mow after 7 pm. Avoid mowing altogether on Ozone Alert days. The harmful ozone causing fumes emitted by mowers are nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). These are more likely to form harmful ozone when the weather is hot and sunny. Mowing in the evening will help reduce the amount of ozone that form, not to mention make it easier on you.

Keep Your Equipment Well-Tuned

Well-tuned equipment runs more efficiently, uses less fuel, and emits less pollution. Keep your blades sharpened, too. Regular maintenance will not only benefit your lawn, making it more resistant to disease, but the mowing will go quicker and that means less air pollution and less wear and tear on your body.

Avoid Gas Spills

No spill gas can Save money and protect the air we breathe by using a funnel or a no-spill can. Americans spill an estimated 17 million gallons of gasoline each year while refueling small engines such as lawn care equipment. The vapor from gasoline spills is also a cause of air pollution.

NO-SPILL© gas cans are manufactured in Missouri and are available in the Kansas City area. Check your local hardware store. Or visit their website at www.nospill.com to find a dealer near you.

Practice Natural Lawn Care and Proper Mowing Techniques

The following is a maintenance guide for a lush, healthy, green lawn sourced from the K-State Extension Office. There are more thorough publications available on their website at www.ksuturf.com. There are also natural ways to sustain the ideal yard that suppress weeds, pests, and pollution as well as save water and reduce ground-level ozone.

Mow High - 3 to 3.5 inches grass cut high

  • This is crucial to natural lawn care. The grass will shade the weeds and suppress them as well as absorb more sunlight, lengthening their roots and thickening your turf. A deep root system will also lessen the amount of watering necessary.
  • Be sure to let your grass grow out to 4.5"- 5" which follows the 1/3 rule: cut one third off the top, leaving 2/3 of the grass blade.

Mulch Your Grass Clippings

  • The clippings act as a free natural fertilizer, returning the needed nitrogen to the soil as well as building depth to your topsoil.
  • Mulching your grass clippings can account for 25-50% of the nitrogen needed per year.

Water Less Frequently

  • Water when the grass begins to wilt or turn bluish-green in color. Less frequent watering encourages deep root growth of grass and reduces weed competition.
  • It takes about 1" of water per week, however some soils require more or less. A good method to follow is to soak your soil to a depth of 6-8". Use a screwdriver or a rod to measure the depth of water penetration.
  • Water early in the morning to prevent mildew disease and minimize evaporation.
  • Collect rain water from your roof for watering!  To purchase or build a rain barrel visit Bridging the Gap.

    grass roots (info in image is outline in webpage)

Natural Fertilizers

  • Most natural yards do not need heavy amounts of fertilizers. Building up your top soil and the soil life is the best remedy to preventing problems. It is also important to fertilize at the correct rates and times.
  • Natural compost adds high levels of nitrogen fertilizer without the NOx emissions that are formed from the production of synthetic fertilizers. It is best for your lawn and your pocketbook to not over-fertilize. The idea, "if you add more fertilizer, you will see more of the result" is incorrect. Excess fertilizer actually gets washed away with storm water and has adverse effects on the environment.  When synthetic fertilizer builds up in water systems, it causes dead zones where the marine life cannot survive.
  • See what you need before you add anything!  First test the soil. The Johnson County K-State Extension Office will perform a soil test for just $10. Call 913-715-7000.
  • Only add fertilizer/compost in the spring or the fall. The recommended application is in September, November, and May, in that order.

Organic Pesticides

  • Chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, if not properly applied, can be dangerous to the environment and sometimes expose the lawn to more infestation problems.  Chemical applications affect more than just the target organism, they also affect non-target organisms that are beneficial to the soil.  By building up your top soil with the above suggestions, your lawn may be less susceptible to pest and weed infestation.
  • If you decide to apply chemical pesticides, it is important to use the proper amount and apply them at the proper time. Avoid overuse of pesticides and apply per label instructions.
  • There are several options for organic pest control depending on the specific problem.  Here are some suggestions for common problems: grub

    Grubs, ants, chiggers, fleas, ticks: Nematodes are a beneficial biotic organism that live in healthy soil. Adding nematodes will eliminate these pests by eating them!  You can order a solution containing nematodes online, further instructions included.

    Crab Grass (Digitaria) and other weeds: Corn Gluten Meal is an organic herbicide that inhibits the growth of roots in germinating plants, but does not affect established grass or bulbs. Do not apply the corn gluten for three weeks after planting new grass seed.

Natural Professional Lawn Care Services

If you use a professional lawn care provider to tend to your lawn care needs, consider hiring a natural professional lawn care service. Several companies in Kansas City specialize in natural lawn care. Here are some that we found using Google and Yahoo:

Johnson County Health and Environment does not endorse these lawn care companies, nor is criticism implied for those businesses and products not listed.


Certified Partners


Business & Organizations

Atmos Energy
This natural gas distributor located in Olathe, has recently expanded their recycling and waste reduction efforts. Atmos has successfully added a recycling container, and has also added recycle bins in both the office and warehouse areas; collecting cardboard, paper, and plastic bottles. In addition, the recycle their shredded documents, and left over food from company meals are donated to a local Salvation Army food bank.

bijin salon and spa
Located in Prairie Village, this salon and spa were already making efforts to recycle, but wanted to do more. With the help of Johnson County, bijin are looking to start composting hair clippings, began purchasing green janitorial products, and started a battery recycling program through the Big Green Box. New employees are also briefed on environmental efforts during orientation to ensure that everyone is on board.

Integrative Health Providers, Finan Chiropractic, & Lifestyle Massage 
Located in Lenexa, this healthcare facility initially included no recycling options for collecting appropriate materials. Johnson County staff worked with this location to add recycling bins and signs. Waste reduction efforts also include composting of scrap food, commingled and glass recycling options, water bottle refilling stations; they even reduced paper towel use by switching to clothe towels. 

This small boutique located in Oak Park Mall, has worked hard to revamp their recycling and waste reduction programs. Previously, employees would put recyclable's in their cars and drive them to a recycling center, now they work with a local company called L'Arche to provide recycling pickup. They also reduced their paper usage by going to more reusable and durable options, work with vendors to reuse plastic packaging and hangers, and have greatly reduced their usage of disposable drink cups.

Rimann Liquors
Rimann Liquors has two different locations being honored this year, one in Lenexa and one in Prairie Village. To increase recycling efforts, the Lenexa location sponsors a recycling bin that they allow connecting businesses to utilize. Both locations fully take advantage of cardboard recycling and also allow customers to reuse boxes before recycling them. The stores even offer collection boxes for natural cork recycling, which then go to ReCork for recycling. Going beyond recycling, Rimann also has reused old wine barrels and used them to develop display tables for wine tastings.

Training Umbrella
Located in Overland Park, Training Umbrella offers training room rentals and more. They have worked to expand their recycling efforts by adding paper, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans to the cardboard that was already being recycled. Going beyond recycling, Training Umbrella has found was to reuse materials for use in their building, this includes a conference table made out of reclaimed wood. 

Village Cooperative of Shawnee
This senior living community located in Shawnee have worked with Johnson County staff to add recycling bins to all communal spaces and to the fifty three units on the property. Education efforts have also been used to communicate to members what can and can't go in their recycle bins. Members have access to composting bins and use the compost in the garden areas. Members also collect glass which is then taken to a nearby Ripple Glass bin for recycling. Bike rakes were also installed for members that want to bike. 


Lenexa Hills Elementary
Johnson County has worked with the Shawnee Mission School District for many years to develop and maintain recycling and composting programs at the schools and district offices. Lenexa Hills Elementary is the newest addition to that group. The main component of their waste reduction efforts is the collection of food and paper waste from the cafeteria that is then composted; recycling is also collected in the cafeteria. In addition the school also properly disposes of all its electronic waste, and has several bike rakes available to students who ride their bike to school.

Honorable Mention Partner

Gurdwara Nanak Darbar Sahib Temple
Located in Olathe, this temple has really ramped up their waste reduction and recycling efforts. While working with Johnson County they have added recycling in key communal areas, with the bins being collected by L'Arche. Other sustainability efforts are currently being discussed, and they look forward to starting them soon.  





Burn Regulations

The Kansas Open Burning Regulations (K.A.R. 28-19-645 thru K.A.R. 28-19-648) 

fire extinguisher training

To read all the Air Quality Statues and Regulations for the State of Kansas, please visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website.

In Johnson County, open burning is regulated by both the state air quality regulations as well as local fire codes, administered and enforced by our local fire departments or districts. Air quality regulations address public health as well as environmental protection. Fire codes are for the protection of life and property.

There is some overlap of the air quality regulations and the local fire codes. For the fire departments or districts that allow some type of open burning, an open burning permit is almost always required. But under state air quality regulations, an open burning exemption (same as burn permit) is required only in certain circumstances. As a result, for certain types of burning, you may have to obtain a burn permit from the fire department and a burn exemption from our office.

When to Contact the Fire Department

Under the state air quality regulation K.A.R. 28-19-647(a), if you are involved in the following activities, you DO NOT NEED AN OPEN BURNING PERMIT FROM JCDHE, but you must contact your local fire department to see if you need a burn permit under the fire code:

a)  The following open burning operations shall be exempt from the prohibition on the open burning of any materials imposed by K.A.R. 28-19-645:

  1. open burning carried out on a residential premise containing five or less dwelling units and incidental to the normal habitation of the dwelling units, unless prohibited by any local authority with jurisdiction over the premises;
  2. open burning for cooking or ceremonial purposes, on public or private lands regularly used for recreational purposes;
  3. open burning for the purpose of crop, range, pasture, wildlife or watershed management in accordance with K.A.R. 28-19-648.

When to Contact JCDHE

Under the state air quality regulations, a WRITTEN OPEN BURNING EXEMPTION IS REQUIRED FROM OUR OFFICE in accordance to K.A.R. 28-19-647(c):

Open burning operations for which an approval is required but which are deemed to be necessary and in the public interest include the following:

  1. the use of safety flares for disposal of flammable gases;
  2. fires related to the training of government or industrial personnel in fire-fighting procedures;
  3. fires set for the removal of dangerous or hazardous liquid materials;
  4. open burning of trees and brush from nonagricultural land clearing operations; and
  5. open burning of clean wood waste from construction projects carried out at the construction site.

New regulations in 2011 banned almost all types of open burning in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties during the month of April. Open burning during this month is essentially limited to the prairie burning that occurs in the Flint Hills region. The burning operations listed in 1-5 above are not to be conducted in April and should be scheduled for any other month.  If absolutely necessary, an application for burning can be made but approval will come from KDHE in Topeka and not Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. For more information and background regarding the open burning in April, please visit www.ksfire.org.firefighter training

Local fire departments sometimes burn houses or buildings destined for demolition for more realistic fire training. This may take several days before the entire house is consumed. Removal of carpeting, furniture, and asphalt-containing materials, such as shingles, is required. An asbestos inspection must be made of the premises prior to burning to comply with both state and federal regulations.

In the photo on the right, the fire department is burning a condemned house for firefighter training. They applied for and were granted an open burning exemption prior to the burn. (Photo taken by Michael Boothe)

Open burning of trees and brush from a non-agricultural land clearing operation requires prior approval. If you are removing trees and brush for some type of development, such as an office complex, residential area, or shopping center, prior approval is required in addition to meeting the requirements for the local fire department.


Alternate Fuel Vehicles

hybrid carIn 1992, the Johnson County Environmental Department became the first government agency in the Kansas City region to use alternative fuels in vehicles when we converted two of our vehicles to run on either propane or gasoline. Our office has represented the Kansas portion of the Kansas City Clean Cities Coalition as co-chair since the mid-1990's. We were one of the first to purchase a gasoline/electric hybrid when we obtained our 2002 Toyota Prius. The Department's pursuit of alternative fueled vehicles has resulted in a directive from the Johnson County Manager that all departments are to give serious consideration to buying hybrid and/or alternative fueled vehicles when they are making new purchases. As of January 2012, the County has 55 alternative fuel vehicles.

In November 2012, JCDHE was fortunate enough to receive an all-electric vehicle to use for several days. The vehicle has a range of over 80 miles on one charge and was charged on the charging station located at the Johnson County Sunset Office Building. The Air Quality program extended an invitation to all County employees to test drive the car and many took advantage of the offer.  Photo 1   Photo 2


Air Quality

skyThe goal of the Air Quality program is to protect both human health and the environment for the residents of Johnson County as well as the surrounding metro region. We are the designated legal agent for the Kansas Department of Health & Environment on matters related to the Clean Air Act in the county. Currently there are approximately 170 facilities in the county that are subject to federal and/or state air quality regulations. The goals of the department are met through inspections, complaint investigations, and public education. Ground-level ozone continues to be the primary air quality issue in the Kansas City region and we continue to work towards staying below the health standard for ozone.



Air Monitoring

Ambient Air Monitoring

monitoring equipment

Johnson County is part of a regional air quality monitoring program for Kansas City. There are two current monitoring locations located in Johnson County, one at 8500 Antioch and the other at Heritage Park. The monitors are currently operated and maintained by staff from the Air Quality Program in the Unified Government of Wyandotte County (UGWC). Their monitoring staff have many years of experience and expertise in air quality monitoring and is responsible for operating an extensive ambient air quality monitoring network in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties.

Federal health levels for air quality are set by EPA for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The NAAQS is comprised of six criteria pollutants, each one having its own health limit: Ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), lead (Pb), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). This program monitors the ambient levels of these pollutants except for lead. Lead has largely been removed as a pollutant in most parts of the country as a result of the use of unleaded gasoline. It is only monitored in local areas where there is a lead source. The monitoring staff also operates a complex weather station as part of the program. The monitoring staff coordinates closely with the Mid America Regional Council and the other state and local agencies in the region to insure that good data is collected and reported.

Gaseous Monitoring Network

The Gaseous Monitoring Network currently consists of four types of analyzers. There are for ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. One ozone analyzer is operated in Johnson County at Heritage Park at 15900 Lackman.

Particulate Monitoring Network

metropolitan towerThe Particulate Monitoring Network currently consists of five types of particulate samplers with eleven monitors total. These monitors sample for various sizes of particulate matter. This includes fine particulate matter which can lodge deep in the lung tissue and some may even get into your bloodstream. At some locations, there may be two identical samplers operating side-by-side. One operates as a regular sampler and one operates as the collocated sampler to provide data verification for the regular sampler. Two fine particulate samplers are located in Johnson County. One sampler operates at the Antioch Justice Center, 8500 Antioch, and one sampler operates at 15900 Lackman, Heritage Park.

All monitors operate on a specified schedule. The filters are recovered and sent to a lab for analysis.

Locations of Monitors


Air Compliance

Permitting and Inspections

 At the center of the air program is the inspection of companies that are subject to the federal Clean Air Act, ensuring compliance with what some people refer to as "outdoor air" quality. Companies receive unannounced annual inspections from the JCDHE staff to determine compliance.

Companies that are subject to air quality regulations under the Clean Air Act have their operations reviewed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. KDHE thoroughly reviews all processes and operations at the company's facility and determines the need for a permit and what specific regulations apply at that site. Some specific types of permits, usually for larger sources, are put on public notice to allow the public to have input.  (All KDHE Air Quality Public Notices can be viewed in the Public Notice section on the left side of this page.)  The completed permit will contain specific details that restrict the way a facility must operate in order to comply with the regulations. This insures that the facility's emissions will have the smallest impact on the area residents as well as the environment itself.rock quarry

Our department acts as the designated legal agent for the State of Kansas.  After the permit is issued by KDHE,. JCDHE conducts unannounced inspections at these facilities to determine compliance with air regulations and permits. We meet with company personnel and discuss and review records, existing operations, and any future facility modifications. The JCDHE staff works to educate company personnel about the regulations affecting their company and why these rules are needed. In the event of a violation, companies found to have relatively minor compliance problems may receive a letter from JCDHE requiring them to correct the situation within a specified period of time. If the inspection reveals, however, that serious or repeated violations have occurred, all information is forwarded to KDHE for possible enforcement action.  In some circumstances, the EPA can also initiate enforcement action.

Air Quality Sources in Johnson CountyAir Sources chart

Air quality regulations may require that a company first obtain a Construction Permit/Approval from KDHE before the site is constructed. This is not to be confused with a construction permit issued by municipal building codes. Types of sources that can be subject to the air quality regulations vary, but here are some examples:

  • Diesel engines for electrical generation
  • Rock crushing
  • Painting of miscellaneous metal parts
  • Printing (lithographic, flexographic, rotogravure)

The pie chart shows some of the types of sources and the number of each that have been issued permits in Johnson County.

Pollution Control Equipment Used in Johnson County

Industries in Johnson County may be required to control the emissions created by their processes. There are different types of control equipment to help them meet this requirement. Different equipment is used by different types of industry. In some cases, more than one form of control is used by a company. Pollution controls can range from simple and relatively cheap to complex and very expensive. Here are three examples:

  • Ordinary water spray bars usually used in a rock crushing operation;
  • Afterburners which effectively "burn" emissions often found at printing facilities;
  • Baghouses which filter and collect particulates in asphalt plants.

Some types of control require a change in the manufacturing process. For instance, companies that use oil-based paints or inks would change to water-based paints or inks.

spray bar equipmentSpray Bars
This is one of several rock quarry operations within the county. Water spray bars are located at various points through the system to control the dust emissions. This is one of the least expensive methods to control emissions, which in this case is the rock dust or "particulates."


These two afterburners are examples of air pollution control equipment. Afterburners effectively "burn" the emissions and are often found at printing operations. Some use natural gas as a fuel, which can be quite expensive. More companies are switching to catalytic afterburners which use natural gas to get started, but then use the volatile fumes as fuel, thereby reducing the cost of operation. These units are located at a printing facility in Johnson County and were both operating at the time the photo was taken.

This is one of several hot mix asphalt concrete plants located within Johnson County. The pollutant of concern is particulates, just like the rock crushing operations. This plant, however, uses a "baghouse" (yellow arrow) to control emissions, which are exhausted through the stack (red arrow). The baghouse has numerous chambers with "socks" inside that collect the particulate. This is more effective than water spray but is also considerably more expensive. This plant was in operation at the time the photo was taken.

Accepted Items

What is Household Hazardous Waste?


If a product's label has any of these signal words, then the product has ingredients that contain one or more of the following hazardous characteristics: corrosive, reactive, toxic, flammable, or explosive. If not safely stored, used, or disposed, the product can present hazards to you and your environment. A full list of materials that we accept is listed below.

Common Materials Accepted at the Collection Facility

  • Adhesives
  • Aerosols
  • Arts and Crafts Materials
  • Automotive fluids i.e. brake fluid, antifreeze, etc.(Do not bulk fluids together
  • Batteries
  • Cleaning Products
  • Cooking Oil
  • Fluorescent Light Bulbs and Tubes (Pack separate from other items to avoid breakage)
  • Gasoline (Do not mix with other automotive fluids other than 2-cycle oil)
  • Lawn and garden chemicals
  • Motor Oil - limit 5 gallons per month (NO TRANSFORMER OIL)
  • Paint (latex and oil based)
  • Photo Chemicals
  • Pool Chemicals 
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Solvents, i.e. Paint Thinner, Acetone, Kerosene
  • Tires (Limit 4 per month, other drop off options can be found at RecycleSpot)
  • Wood Preservatives
  • 1-3 lb. Propane Cylinders


If you have questions about other accepted materials, please call our office at 913-715-6907. We will be happy to answer your questions.

For Items Not on the Accepted List

If you don't see an item on the approved list, then it is probably not accepted at our facility. However, there could be other options for recycling or disposal. To find options closest to you go to: RecycleSpot

Medical waste and medication recycling options

www.recyclespot.org logo


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

You may remain anonymous, but if you wish to have us contact you please leave your phone number and/or email address. 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.

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