City leaders discuss mandatory recycling in Kansas City

Kansas City considers mandatory recycling

KANSAS CITY - City representatives are closer to discussing whether to make recycling mandatory in Kansas City.

Nearly 90,000 tons of trash is collected in Kansas City. Less than a third of that is recycled. 

“Recycling saves money,” Michael Shaw, who works for Kansas City Public Works, said.  

Shaw oversees the city's trash collection.

He thinks it’s about time Kansas City becomes a green region of the Midwest.

“I think the community now has embraced recycling as a core value of Kansas City, and so we're looking to take that next step,” he said.

The next step is to have 80 percent of the trash collected go somewhere other than landfills.

Right now that number is at 20 percent, even though the majority of people in Kansas City recycle. 

“We want to change that paradigm and see more balance and produce more recycling and less trash."

Shaw and other city leaders plan to change that number by 2020. 

”We want to maybe nudge those who aren't recycling to join the recycling band wagon if you will," Shaw said.

One way is to make recycling mandatory. 

How or if that will happen is still in the works, but Shaw thinks it’s the next step toward saving trash and money.

Shaw said they plan to talk with community and neighborhood groups to see whether they think recycling should be mandatory.

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