Commentary: Keep Kansas City recycling

This editorial appeared in The Kansas City Star.

Kansas Citians are filling up their blue recycling bins at a record pace.

The city’s curbside program is on pace to collect more recyclables than it has in any year since it began in 2004. The program could generate more revenue than ever through sales of recycled paper, plastic and cans.

But challenges are ahead. The city staff and City Council will need to drive a hard bargain with Deffenbaugh Industries to retain this worthwhile program.

In this budget year, which began in May, Kansas Citians are tossing recyclables into their plastic bins at a rate of almost 20,000 tons a year. About 19,000 tons were kept out of landfills in each of the past two years

Deffenbaugh separates and sells the recyclables to customers in China, Mexico and other markets. Deffenbaugh gets most of the revenue, in line with its contract with the city.

The company earned more than $2.3 million last year from those sales. Through September, sales had been on pace to come in even higher this year.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Kansas City Star.