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RecycleFIRST second phase begins June 1

The second phase of the City of Kansas City’s curbside recycling program will begin as scheduled on June 1. Phase 1 began on March 1 with one sixth of the city. Phase 2 includes another one sixth of the city. Phase 3 will begin Sept. 1 and include another one third of the city, while Phase 4 will begin Dec. 1 with the final one third of the city.

Residents can find out when recycling begins in their area by going to the City’s RecycleFIRST Web site ( and entering their address.

Residents in Phase 2 received a mailing last week that included the coupon that can be exchanged for a free recycling bin at select Westlake Ace Hardware and Price Chopper stores. The packet also contained information about how the recycling program works and provided the date of the first recycling collection at the address. Recycling is collected from each household on the same day that trash is collected. Because Week 1 of the Phase 2 recycling program is the week of Memorial Day, trash and recycling collection will be moved one day later in the week than usual.

“With the success of Phase 1 behind us, we look forward to bringing curbside recycling to residents in Phase 2 of the program,” John Stufflebean, director of the Department of Environmental Management, said. “Bridging the Gap has been conducting informational presentations in the Phase 2 neighborhoods, and reports positive feedback from the residents,” Stufflebean said. Bridging the Gap is a non-profit organization under contract with the City to lead the RecycleFIRST neighborhood educational outreach effort.

Stufflebean said Kansas City residents in Phase 1 of the City’s RecycleFIRST program have adapted well to the new program. The Department of Environmental Management reports steady progress after completing six full cycles of curbside recycling in Phase 1 neighborhoods. (A cycle is a two-week period.)

The total amount of recyclable material collected was 194,660 pounds in Cycle 1 and 318,429 pounds in Cycle 6. Stufflebean said this amount is better than expected and steadily increasing. He said participation has been exceptional, with an average of about 50 percent of houses participating.

The amount of recyclable material put out per participating household is averaging more than 30 pounds. The City’s recycling contractor, Deffenbaugh, reports that the recycling materials are very clean and free of contaminants. The most common mistake residents are making when preparing their recyclables is including plastic grocery bags which are not accepted in the program. The list of acceptable and unacceptable items is on the City Web site,

Trash and recyclables must be placed at the curb before 7 a.m. in all areas of the City. With the reduction in regular trash in RecycleFIRST neighborhoods, trash trucks are being rerouted to maximize collection efficiency. As a result, trash collection times will change in many areas.

The City accepts two trash bags with no tags each week. Each additional bag requires a trash tag that can be purchased for $1 at participating Westlake Ace Hardware and Price Chopper stores. In the first cycle of Phase 1, about 7 percent of the households placed more than two bags out without a trash tag. In the sixth cycle, this has been reduced to about 1 percent, which means that 99 percent of all households are complying with the two bag limit, or are using tags for the additional bags.

Westlake Ace Hardware and Price Chopper representatives report frequent activity in citizens exchanging their coupons for recycling bins, and good sales of additional recycling bins and $1 trash tags.

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