waste | KCUR

waste

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

After years of complaints from customers, rising costs and declining service from contractors, the Kansas City Council voted to ditch the contractors and have city crews do weekly trash pick-ups throughout the city.

City council initially met the plan with skepticism, questioning how much money it would save the city, but they eventually passed the measure unanimously.

Michael Shaw, the city's Solid Waste Division director says he, too, is confident in the cost-savings estimates.

Segment 1: Kansas City council votes unanimously to bring all trash collection in-house.

Complaints about trash and recyclables pickup has convinced the city government to take over trash services throughout Kansas City, Missouri, beginning in May of 2020.  Private companies will continue to collect recylables in a plan projected to save $20 million. 

Montgomery City Division of Solid Waste Services / Flickr - CC

Kansas City recyclers take heart, for now.

Despite reports that some waste companies in the U.S. are burning recycled paper and plastic or sending it to landfills, processors in the metro are still finding ways to market recycled material.

Segment 1: A Kansas bill aims to make the state the nation's first to check new-case DNA evidence with connection to closed cases.  

Currently, biological evidence from current crimes is not investigated when it produces a hit in the DNA database on a case that already has a conviction. Kansas lawmakers want to audit what's happening when those hits arise and the potential to help exonerate innocent people. 

It’s morning. You pull out your favorite box of cereal and pour it into a bowl. Then you go to your fridge to grab the milk, only to find that the jug is practically empty.

After you mutter a few unrecognizable words, you toss the milk container into your recycle bin and move on to finding something else to eat. We’ve all been there.

While you’ll likely never think about that plastic milk jug again, its journey into a complex system of waste has only just begun.

City of Kansas City

A surveillance camera set up by the Kansas City Neighborhoods and Housing Services department catches a lot of illegal dumpers. Usually, they are tossing tires, trash bags, beer and water bottles. But at least twice this month, the camera captured what appears to be a U.S. Postal Service employee dumping mail.

Atl10trader / Flickr-CC

A good Thanksgiving Day meal requires consideration, preparation and even preservation. Today, we hear food safety advice to help keep uneaten leftovers fresh and to learn warning signs of spoiled items. Then, a local congregation shares why they've made the decision to remove the phrase 'Country Club' from their name and learn about the history of the district the church was originally named after.

Guests:

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

On average, each person in Kansas City throws away seven pounds of garbage every day, and, it turns out, 80% of that garbage is actually recyclable.

We check in on Kansas City's recycling program, revisit the easy steps, and hear how our city could be doing better.

Guests:

elizaIO / Flickr - CC

We know we're supposed to reduce, reuse, and recycle our waste, but can local companies that make recycling their business turn a profit? Then, an eyewitness to the attack on Pearl Harbor shares her experience in Hawaii during World War II.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Food waste is an expensive problem. The average U.S. family puts upwards of $2,000 worth of food in the garbage every year.

What some see as a problem, however, others see as a business opportunity. A new facility, known as the Heartland Biogas Project, promises to take wasted food from Colorado’s Front Range and turn it into electricity.

Pat Aylward / NET News

Every year Americans spend billions of dollars to grow, process and transport food that’s never eaten.

ReFED, a group of nonprofits and foundations, say they have a roadmap to keep that from happening. Their planfocuses on preventing food from ending up in the trash in the first place, and diverting it to a more beneficial use when it does get tossed out.

Courtesy photo / City of Merriam, Kansas

When Ken Sissom became the mayor of Merriam, Kansas, in 2008, he knew exactly what he was getting into.

He was on the police department in Merriam for 26 years, serving the last 13 as police chief.

“When I became mayor in 2008, I had attended every city council meeting, with the exception of maybe four or five, since 1992. So there were no surprises for me on the Mayor’s job,” he said.

For a city of its small size — only 4.5 square miles — it has 600 business, which makes it an interesting place to govern.

Waste Rubber Blight Under Assault

Apr 8, 2010

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas City Council may ask voters to decide in August whether to license the city's 600 tire dealers. The problem is thousands of discarded tires, often dumped at night.

If the ordinance passes, voters would decide whether to levy a $250 annual fee on dealers.