County to discontinue satellite recycling in Basehor and Tonganoxie

Empty water bottles, detergent containers and plastic bags fill the plastic only recycling bin installed by Honey Creek Disposal inc. in the parking lot of Triple Creek Realty. Kevin Weldon, owner of Honey Creek Disposal, said he wanted the new recycling center to help Tonganoxie residents to start living a greener life and reduce the amount of waste put into the new 95-gallon trash containers. Enlarge photo

February 19, 2009, 4:22 p.m. Updated: 24 February 2009, 11:33 p.m.

The Board of County Commissioners has voted in favor of stopping recycling programs in Basehor and Tonganoxie starting April 1.

The commission reached the decision after listening to a report from Tony Turner, the interim director of the solid waste department, about the costs associated with running the remote recycling programs. Turner said that the economy has reduced the amount of money the county gets for recyclables, so at this time it wasn’t economically feasible for the department to continue the remote recycling programs when other programs are available inside the county. The county will continue accepting recyclables at the transfer station.

“I think it’s sad,” said Earleta Morey, who helped coordinate volunteers for the county program in Tonganoxie. “Just when we were getting people to start recycling. Now it’s going to be harder for them. It’s a disappointment to them because they are trying to recycle and trying to save our environment.”

Tonganoxie, which used the county’s recycling program on the second Saturday of each month, has a 24-hour recycling drop-off that Honey Creek Disposal offers. The drop-off bins are in the parking lot of Triple Creek Realty, 230 West St., just off U.S. Highway 24-40.

Honey Creek accepts numbers 1-7 plastics, cardboard, chipboard and aluminum cans, but does not take glass containers, unlike the county.

Honey Creek also does not take newspapers, magazines and office paper, which can be dropped off in the recycling bins on Fourth Street next to the Tonganoxie Elementary School.

“The reality is that the only thing we are losing is the ‘SORT’ as well as the collection of glass and tin,” Kathy Bard, assistant city administrator, said. “With these trying times, if citizens that choose to recycle will use the provided methods, the overall effect on the cost of refuse collection should not be affected.”

The city of Basehor has no drop-off center similar to the Honey Creek drop-off in Tonganoxie.

“What the county vote means for Basehor is that there are no current recycling options,” Carl Slaugh, Basehor city administrator, said. “The city doesn’t have the means to provide recycling containers for pickup the way the county had been doing.”

In an e-mail Slaugh sent to Heather Morgan, the county administrator, Slaugh said a recent study done by Kansas City Kansas Community College students found that 66 percent of Basehor residents would be willing to pay the $3 per month fee associated with having curbside recycling. He said the issue has not been brought before the Basehor City Council but would be discussed in the Feb. 28 strategic planning session.

At a recent Johnson County city managers meeting, Slaugh found out that Deffenbaugh — the city’s trash service — wants to start a mandatory recycling plan for all those who use the Shawnee dumping site. This includes Basehor. The recycling would include plastic and paper, but especially grass and leaves during the summer and fall, which would not be allowed to be dumped at the Deffenbaugh site.

“So, Basehor may be looking at mandatory recycling either way,” he said.

The $3 per month curbside recycling will be on the March 16 city council agenda.

The other option for Basehor residents is to drive to the transfer station, which is about nine miles north of Basehor at 136th Street and Gilman Road.

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