In wake of issues this fall, Prairie Village Public Works staff go through recycling training

In the wake of revelations this past fall that Prairie Village Public Works had been trashing the contents of city park recycling bins, Public Works employees last week went through a training event put on by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

The Public Works department will be replacing the dark grey bags used in recycling bins with clear ones to help staff more easily assess the contents.
Twenty employees went through the training session with Johnson County Solid Waste Specialist Julie Coon, who covered the benefits of recycling as well as how to handle materials placed in recycling bins.

Acting Public Works Director Keith Bredehoeft said the department is going to switch to using clear bags in its recycling bins to help staff determine whether the contents are too contaminated to be processed at the recycling center.

“Most of the time the recycling centers can handle the items that are put in a recycle bin [even if there is slight contamination],” he said. “Another thing we learned was that the overall expectation of agencies that collect recyclable materials from the public is that they do not have to sort through every bag to determine its contents.”

Bredehoeft said the department planned to expand its recycling efforts and would be putting more bins around the city.