Solid Waste Planning – Long-Term Strategic Plan, Kansas City, Missouri

scs engineers solid waste strategic planKansas City’s Solid Waste Division provides trash collection and recycling services to more than 140,000 homes. Processing of commingled recyclables, landfill disposal, composting, and operation of recycling drop-off centers are provided to the city via contract. However, the unanticipated early closures of local landfills will likely lead to increasing costs and the potential elimination of programs and services provided by the City.

SCS Engineers is the lead of a consulting team for the City to assess various long-term strategies for meeting both solid waste management and recycling needs. The first step in developing the strategic plan was to evaluate the performance of the City’s programs. SCS reviewed the City’s contracts for private collection, recycling and disposal services; as well as budgets and ordinances. A comparison of the City’s programs and expenditures with those of similarly-sized cities was also performed.

SCS developed 20-year projections of solid waste generation and diversion in order to evaluate different levels of solid waste disposal and diversion/recycling options. SCS evaluated various alternatives for Kansas City to consider, including a City-owned material recovery facility/transfer station, use of a local waste-to-energy opportunity, and food waste/organics collection and composting. SCS prepared a detailed 20-year financial analysis of selected alternatives and provided recommendations for obtaining financing and implementing the plan.

As part of the planning process, a series of eight focus group meetings were held throughout Kansas City to allow the public to share their opinions on the City’s services and to provide input on the direction of future programs.