After years of public complaints, a solution is on the way for Kansas Citians tired of the wind blowing their recycling across their yards or rain ruining their attempts to recycle cardboard boxes. The Kansas City Council on Thursday approved a plan to spend $5.4 million on recycling carts — with lids — replacing the smaller open containers the city currently provides. The move is a change of course from an initial proposal to spend $17 million on both recycling and trash carts. The legislation passed 11-1, with Councilman Brandon Ellington, District 3 at-large, voting no.

Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, District 3, said that while this ordinance didn’t address the problem of litter and trash, she hopes the city can tackle that in future budget cycles. The plan provides for 162,000 free carts, which Mayor Quinton Lucas said will help reduce pollution. Additionally, the city will spend $785,000 in federal pandemic stimulus aid — the American Rescue Plan Fund — to pay for four separate programs.

Of that, $200,000 will pay for 400 new neighborhood dumpsters for additional bulky-item pickups. Another $250,000 will go to a recycling education campaign. Another $250,000 will pay for a composting pilot program, to begin educating residents about how to recycle food and other organic waste. And $85,000 pays for cart maintenance. Lucas said the push for composting will lead to fewer instances of animals tearing into trash bags.

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Author: Cortlynn Stark, The Kansas City Star