Johnson County adds $610K to hazardous waste recycling project

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Johnson County will allocate additional funds toward creating a new hazardous waste recycling center.

The Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHWF) project was approved by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) as part of the 2022 budget. The $3 million capital project will create a new hazardous waste recycling facility near US 69 Highway in Overland Park.

Map of the new HHWF location in Overland Park, KS.

county has operated on HHWF is now in Mission for about 30 years.

The site accepts, recycles and disposes of common household materials that cannot be thrown away with regular trash, including things like fluorescent light bulbs, aerosol cans and paint.

In June, Assistant County Manager Joe Waters informed the county board was facing a $3.7 million shortfall in capital project budgets due to rising inflation.

“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in construction costs in the last two and a half years,” Waters said.

Waters said in the last two years construction costs for the HHWF project have increased by roughly 54%.

On Thursday, the BOCC voted 6-1 to approve an additional allocation of $610,000 for the HHWF project, bringing the total cost of the project to approximately $3.6 million.

Mary Beverly, director of the environmental division for the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, said in 2021 the facility will receive about 1.2 million pounds of material for recycling.

“Some of those materials can be reused, recycled, reused. Some of them have to be sent out, of course that’s why we have a transporter. Reduce some of those materials, we are almost 500,000 pounds per year,” said Beverly.

Commissioner Michael Ashcraft was the only board member to vote against allocating additional money for the project.

“I don’t see the cost-benefit ratio of this amount, for what appears to be less than a few percent of the actual amount generated that goes to the landfill,” Ashcraft said. “I think it’s not important for the landfill to continue to do that and use this money for something else that will have more of an impact.”

The board also approved the transfer of $1 million from the county’s general fund reserve to the public building commission for the project.

Waters said the county has prioritized the completion of the HHWF to make way for the upcoming wastewater improvements at the Nelson Wastewater Facility.

“The Household Hazardous Waste Facility sits in the middle of the Nelson Wastewater Treatment Complex. Right in the middle of the property, that plant is a significant reconstruction. The reconstruction of that plant is on the books, it’s progressing quickly,” Waters said. “This small project needs to come out out of the way.”

Waters estimates construction of the new HHWF will be completed by mid-2023.

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