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The City of Independence supports green initiatives and sustainable methods. A green and sustainable city is a community of residents, neighbors, workers and visitors who balance ecological, economic and social needs. Their efforts help to ensure a clean, healthy and safe environment for all members of society and future generations. The City of Independence Public Works Department is working diligently to reflect environmental sensitivity in our daily operations.

Our current programs include:

Recycling Program for City Buildings

A co-mingled recycling program is in place at all City facilities. City employees are now able to recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, steel and cardboard.

Recycling and Electronics Recycling

The City operates two drop-off recycling centers. Each year an average of nearly 700 tons of newspaper, cardboard, paperboard, plastics, aluminum cans, glass and tin cans are collected.

Midwest Recycling Center has partnered with Independence to offer electronics recycling year-round at our two recycling centers. Almost anything with a cord or a battery is accepted: computers, monitors and accessories, appliances, stereo equipment, VCR and DVD players, cell phones, air conditioners and lawn and garden equipment (all fluids drained). Televisions can also be recycled. There is a $15 fee for TVs 27" and smaller, and a $35 fee for larger TVs, all console and projection TVs and any TV with a wood shell.


Drop-Off Depot

Some items cannot be recycled. The City encourages proper disposal of these at the Drop-Off Depot.

  • Learn more about the Depot location and what is accepted


Paperless Systems

The Public Works Department is actively finding ways to reduce paper consumption. A paperless, electronic system for Right-of-Way permits is being implemented, and City files, plans and specifications for construction projects are being scanned and processed electronically. Public Works also uses the City’s paperless hiring system and paperless agenda system for City Council items.


Green Purchasing

The Public Works Department regularly reflects environmental sensitivity in its purchases of supplies for everyday use. Items range from remanufactured toner cartridges to office supplies such as paper and envelopes made from recycled materials.


Recycled Asphalt

All across the United States asphalt pavement is removed each year during road construction and maintenance projects. Some of the asphalt is then recycled and reused as part of new roads, shoulders and embankments. The Public Works Department uses 30 - 50 % recycled asphalt in street paving operations. This encourages reuse and reduces the amount of oil required for new asphalt.


Pedestrian and Bicycle Paths

The Public Works Department incorporates pedestrian and bicycle paths into the design of road construction projects. This promotes alternative uses of transportation and helps reconnect city and social networks within the community.

  • View photos of new paths in public improvement projects


Erosion Control

Grading and clearing work can cause sediment to be deposited into the storm water system, an open drainage channel, onto a neighbor's property or in the public right-of-way. The City requires erosion control measures such as berms, swales, and straw bales along with silt fences be installed in accordance with City Code for all new construction and demolition projects. Public Works provides an Erosion Control Device form explaining proper installation of the various erosion control measures. For more information please call Shaun Carter at (816) 325-7613 or e-mail


Environmentally Conscious Plan Review

The Public Works Department regulates City Code requirements on water quality through plan reviews of new platting and construction projects. During the plan review, recommendations are made to incorporate environmentally-friendly designs for proper storm water management. Reviewers enforce stream setback codes and create onsite detention to help with storm water absorption and filtering. Reviewers encourage the use of rain gardens and bio swales when appropriate to reduce flooding, absorb pollutants and sustain wildlife.


Fuel Conservation Program

Public Works employees are encouraged to save fuel by driving less, combining trips and reducing idling times. Preventive maintenance checks are also done by the Public Works Central Garage on fleet vehicles to provide more efficient engine performance.


Operation Green Light

The Public Works Department is actively working with state and suburban traffic engineers in the five-county metropolitan area on Operation Green Light. This program coordinates traffic signals at over 600 intersections in 20 jurisdictions to save travel time, improve traffic flow, cut emissions and improve emergency response times.


Snow Route Realignment

The Public Works Department has developed a plan to maximize efficiency during snow removal. City streets are still plowed in priority categories, however the redesigned routes reduce fuel consumption by minimizing unplowed driving time and reducing the number of stops.


Adopt-A-Street Program

Public Works street crews maintain 560 miles of streets year-round. Unfortunately, the best of care does not stop people from littering our roadways. Citizens interested in maintaining Independence streets now have a way to help keep our streets clean. The objective of Adopt-A-Street is to generate public awareness of ways to improve the environment. Adopting a street is easy!

  • Get involved! Download an Adopt-A-Street brochure


MARC Partnerships

Public Works employees work with the Mid-America Regional Council on environmental-related affairs. Staff attends regular meetings on Solid Waste, Air Quality, Water Quality, Operation Green Light and Household Hazardous Waste.


If you have comments or questions regarding the Public Works Green Focus, please contact Morris Heide at (816) 325-7845 or

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