Kansas City Public Works Director Michael Shaw addresses an audience at the Center Planning & Development Council Meeting, Feb. 28. // Photo by Bill Rankin

New ‘smart’ recycling carts coming to Kansas City residents later this year

KC Public Works Director Michael Shaw discussed details at recent Center Planning & Development Council Meeting

By Bill Rankin and Tyler Schneider

At the Feb. 28 Center Planning and Development Council meeting in the Trailside Center (99th and Holmes Rd), KCMO Public Works Director Michael Shaw dropped the latest details on the city’s upcoming fresh, new recycling carts.

Yes, carts—not tubs or bins—and they should be rolled out to residents citywide sometime later this year. Last June, the city council approved a plan to spend upwards of $5.4 million for 162,000 recycling carts with lids. 

Kansas City officials revealed this first image of the new recycling carts in November.

Shaw, who didn’t have a sample cart with him, said they will be yellow with lids and that they would cost the city $48.50 each with no charge to households. Each of these carts will feature an RFID chip that will be specifically assigned and registered to each household. While existing tubs will still be able to be used, the city hopes that this new technology will help see more stolen, damaged, or wind blown carts returned to the rightful owner.

The new recycling carts could also serve as a test run of sorts as the city looks at the possibility of distributing similar carts for trash pickup in the future. Last May, the city council heard a proposal which would have put $17 million toward a similar project for trash carts. 

In other news, Shaw announced that the street preservation program will start up in April. Last year, there was to be $30 million spent on repaving, but Shaw said the actual price tag ended up being closer to $40 million. The approved 2023 budget starts out at $26-28 million, but will likely exceed it.

Someone in the audience asked if Blue River Road was going to be reopened, which Shaw immediately denied, stating that $10-15 million for the stabilization of 2-4 miles of the roadway north of Red Bridge Rd simply couldn’t be justified for the relatively low traffic in the area. 

Shaw added, however, that the idea of creating a bicycle trail along the route is possible and has been discussed, as there would be ample lighting for security and plenty of access for emergency vehicles.

Another segment of the meeting featured officer Aaron Whitehead speaking on the KCPD South Patrol’s latest crime report. As of March 2, the South Kansas City Patrol’s jurisdiction has registered three of the city’s 23 homicides this year. The city has seen roughly three fewer homicides this year than it had at this point in any of the last three.

During this segment, someone in the audience mentioned having heard a lot of gunfire lately. Another asked why the South Patrol can’t employ shot location technology, which has been implemented in parts of the Midtown area.

Whitehead referred the latter question to Captain Jennifer Crump, who explained that the issue is one of funding, and that it would be too expensive to outfit the much more expansive South region as opposed to a higher-density Midtown area that sees a greater number of those incidents. Whitehead and Crump could not answer any additional detailed questions about the shot location system, citing security concerns. 

A spokesperson from Fowling Warehouse explains the concept of the football and bowling entertainment center. Photo by Bill Rankin

On the local business front, the meeting included the announcement that the Westlake Hardware building in Watts Mill, near the Price Chopper on the northside of 103rd St, is going to become a Fowling Warehouse—a growing gaming-entertainment franchise chain that combines football and bowling. Two presenters from the business were on hand and said that they hope to open around September, but didn’t yet have a firm date set. The Kansas City location will be the eighth for Fowling Warehouse, with three in Michigan, and one each in Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, and Texas. 

3 thoughts on “New ‘smart’ recycling carts coming to Kansas City residents later this year

  1. Something is really fishy here; spending this money on “smart” trash cans. And the math doesn’t work out. Article says the cost is upwards of $5.4 million, but 162,000 x $48.50 comes to to nearly 8 million. What company is getting this windfall?
    Personally I don’t want the big honkin’ thing as it usually takes me 2 weeks to fill the existing bin, and then at times, if there’s a large box, it won’t fit in this bin anyway.
    What a stupid idea. Is this what the Dir. of Public Works, and his City Councilwoman wife came up with over the breakfast table, . . . or was it in a back room somewhere?

  2. So we can spend nearly 8 million dollars on trash cans, but can’t reopen one of Kansas City’s iconic parkways??
    the traffic on it is low because the road is closed in two places.
    The reason the cost to repair the section just north of the I-435 overpass is so high because of incompetent engineering when they attempted to fix this road in 2008, It failed in months.

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