Celebrate Earth Day in Johnson County with these eco-friendly tips

Family outside with recycle bin

It's Earth Day, a special day devoted to the environment and all the things we can do to support it. Johnson County is especially supportive of this eco-friendly holiday, with the recent achievement of receiving a LEED Gold certification for sustainability and resilience in the county.

There are many ways you can go green too. Here are a few things you can do any time of the year to reduce your waste, recycle more and protect our planet.

Make sure that you are recycling right

Recycling is important because it helps keep usable materials out of the landfill and allows them to be used in the creation of new products. When we put things in our recycle bin that don’t belong, it can cause good quality recyclables to end up in the landfill. This can break the equipment at the recycling facility and lower the value of recyclables.

Recycle the right way by only putting accepted items into your recycle bin: aluminum and tin cans, paper, cardboard, paperboard (cereal boxes, etc.), and plastic containers and bottles that have the #1-7 plastic code on them. Don't recycle food waste or liquids, no Styrofoam, no plastic bags or shrink wrap and no bagged recycling.

If you have questions, check out our Recycling 101 guide or head to RecycleSpot.org for more info.

Start composting at home

You can always start a compost bin in your backyard, but there are also two companies in Johnson County that will collect your food waste and turn it into usable compost. Food Cycle KC and Compost Collective KC both collect food scraps, turning them into usable compost and keeping food waste out of our landfill.

Recycle all your glass with Ripple Glass

Glass can’t go in your regular curbside recycle bin, but it can be recycled. Ripple Glass has purple bins that you can find in grocery store and liquor store parking lots around Kansas City. The glass that is collected is recycled into new beer bottles for Boulevard Brewing Company and fiberglass insulation for Owens Corning (two Kansas City companies). There are also companies who will pick up your glass for you and take it to Ripple.

Buy recycled paint from Johnson County Department of Health and Environment

Residents can drop off latex paint and all sorts of other household chemicals and materials at the Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste facility. The usable latex paint that comes in is recycled and made available to residents who want to save money and support this program. The beige, brown, gray or white paint comes in five-gallon buckets and is available for between $20-35 per bucket. This is a great way to save money and support recycling.

Donate and save money with ScrapsKC

If you are interested in crafting or need a material for a school product, ScrapsKC is a reuse store that takes a huge amount of craft supplies, arts and crafts, school supplies and office supplies and finds a new home for them. You can donate items you don’t need anymore or go shopping for something you need.

Health and Environment