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The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment in Kansas has awarded Burns & McDonnell, environmental solutions firm, based in Kansas City, Missouri, the contract to assist in developing a solid waste management plan (SWMP) that will serve its 575,000 residents for the next 25 years. Johnson County is the most populous of Kansas' 105 counties.

“Since the last SWMP update in 2013, we implemented new strategies to reduce disposal, meeting many challenges head-on through conducting outreach, evaluating impacts, and collaborating with businesses,” says Julie Davis, Environmental Program Manager of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “As we look forward, we want to focus on real and quantifiable waste prevention and diversions strategies to provide the county’s solid waste system with the flexibility to provide quality services both now and well into the future.”

The SWMP will account for the bistate, regional nature of solid waste management in the Kansas City area and provide options and recommendations for enhanced regional coordination to achieve shared goals. The scope includes:

  • Assessing available landfill capacity both in and near the county.
  • Evaluating effectiveness of the 2013 SWMP in achieving waste reduction and disposal goals.
  • Reviewing current solid waste practices and systems in municipalities within the county, and their associated costs of service.
  • Analyzing countywide recycling rates by sector.
  • Building on the 2013 SWMP by analyzing and recommending new strategies and goals to further divert waste from disposal through recycling and composting.
  • Focusing on effective options for prevention and diversion of waste from commercial, construction & demolition (C&D), and food waste substreams.
  • Providing an understanding of local performance by benchmarking programs to similar regional and national communities.
  • Providing a summary of applicable state, regional and national solid waste management trends.

“We are honored to have the opportunity of assisting the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment in developing a tailored SWMP, as it is a critical step to determine how the county will manage its solid waste and resource recovery needs in the future,” says Scott Pasternak, who will manage the project for Burns & McDonnell. “Planning and implementing an integrated solid waste management program is a complex and challenging endeavor encompassing technological, institutional, legal, social, economic, and environmental issues. We look forward to finding sustainable solutions for Johnson County as they continue to be strong stewards of the environment.”

Burns & McDonnell’s growing workforce of more than 400 environmental professionals is focused on providing integrated environmental services — from planning and permitting to compliance and remediation — for clients nationwide.

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