With new apartment buildings set to open, Overland Park will launch pilot program on multi-family recycling

Overland Park is taking a serious look at whether apartment and other multi-family project owners should be required to provide their residents with recycling. The city council voted Monday to begin a one-year pilot project to explore the pros and cons, just as some of the first apartments in the downtown building boom are beginning to be occupied.

With new downtown apartment buildings like The Vue opening, Overland Park is looking at the idea of requiring recycling at multi-family complexes.

Currently Lenexa is the only city in the metro area that requires apartment buildings to recycle. But not much data is available because Lenexa does not have a dedicated effort to oversee compliance, according to Overland Park document about the project.

An Overland Park environmental advisory committee has been studying the issue for the past year. After reaching out to people in the multi-family industry, the committee recommended the recycling not become mandatory until after the pilot project provides some information about what works and what doesn’t.

The plan is to get 15 multi-family sites – defined as having six units or more – of diverse types to offer recycling. The program will be limited to cardboard and glass because they are easy to separate and would be less messy for residents.

The glass would be collected in large carts. Cardboard would have to be broken down to make it fit into a slot in the container, which is designed to prevent non-cardboard items from being put in.

Participation will be voluntary and recycling can begin after city officials select the participants from their applications.

The City Council approved the pilot program with no discussion Monday night.