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 strive together to 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:
A co-mingled recycling program for City buildings began in 2011 with the placement of new collection bins from Abitibi-Bowater. The new program replaces a paper-only recycling program. Acceptable items in these new containers include paper, plastic, aluminum, steel and cardboard. Information was provided to employees encouraging them to recycle.
- View photos of City Hall recycling
The fifth annual Electronics Recycling Event was held in April 2013. Over the past 5 years these events have collected over 120 tons of electronics and hazardous materials which have been diverted from our local land fills. Midwest Recycling Center signed a contract with Independence to offer electronics recycling year-round at our two recycling drop-off facilities. We welcome all area citizens to join us in keeping our environment a wonderful place to live. Goods accepted and pricing this year is as follows:
Recycling is a strategic part of our effort to promote a cleaner, greener Independence. Much of what we throw away can be re-used to preserve dwindling resources, to conserve landfill space and reduce pollution and global warming. Many products we use each day are made from recycled paper, aluminum, glass and plastic. Purchasing products made from recycled materials is not only good for the environment, but also good for the economy. Please recycle!
The City operates two drop-off recycling centers. Each year and average of nearly 700 tons of materials and collected and recycled, including newspaper, cardboard, paperboard, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and tin cans.
Numerous items cannot be recycled and for these items the City encourages their proper disposal. The City operates a Drop-Off Depot for such items.
- Learn more about the depot location and what is accepted
The Public Works Department is actively finding ways to reduce its paper consumption. Implementing paperless electronic systems is an effective and efficient way to reduce paper usage. Such systems include working toward creating a paperless Right-of-Way permits process and scanning City files, plans and specifications for construction projects. Public Works also uses the City’s paperless hiring system and paperless agenda system for City Council items.
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.
Asphalt pavement is removed each year in the United States during widening and resurfacing projects. Some of the asphalt is then recycled and reused as part of new roads, roadbeds, shoulders and embankments. The City of Independence Public Works Department uses 30 to 50 percent recycled asphalt in street paving operations. This encourages reuse and reduces the amount of oil required for new asphalt.
The Public Works Department is actively incorporating pedestrian and bicycle paths into the design of its road construction projects. Pedestrian and bicycle paths promote alternative uses of transportation and help reconnect city and social networks within the community.
- View photos of successful paths incorporated into public improvement projects
Grading and clearing work can cause erosion. Proper erosion control procedures are required for all new construction and/or demolition in the City of Independence. Erosion allows sediment to be deposited down into the storm water system, next door neighbor, open drainage channel or onto the public right-of-way. The City of Independence requires that erosion control measures such as berms, swales, and straw bales along with silt fences be installed in accordance with City Code to protect the above mentioned categories. The Erosion Control Device form can be obtained from Public Works for proper installation of the devices. Please advise Public Works of your construction or demolition plans to insure the integrity of these erosion control measures.
For more information please call Tim Saale at (816) 325-7617 or e-mail email@example.com
- View information on Erosion Control Devices
- View photos of proper Erosion Control
The Public Works Department regulates various city code requirements on water quality through plan reviews of new platting and construction projects. During the plan review, the department can enforce and recommend environmentally-friendly designs be used to incorporate proper storm water management. Reviewers enforce stream setback codes, create onsite storm water detention, and erosion control procedures 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.
Public Works employees are being 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 all fleet vehicles to provide more efficient engine performance.
The Public Works Department is actively working with state and suburban traffic engineers in the five-county metropolitan area on Operation Green Light. Operation Green Light will coordinate traffic signals at 634 intersections in 20 jurisdictions to save travel time, improve traffic flow, cut emissions and improve emergency response times. Efforts are being concentrated in Independence to attach wireless hardware to radio towers, so a traffic analyst working at a central computer can monitor traffic and make signal changes before traffic becomes congested.
- Learn more about Operation Green Light
The Public Works Department has developed a plan to reroute the snow removal process to maximize efficiency. These redesigned routes will reduce fuel consumption by minimizing unplowed driving time and frequent stops. City streets will still be plowed in priority categories, but the routes will be more efficient.
- Download a snow removal priority map
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 litter and trash off our streets. 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
Public Works staff attends various seminars and workshops to stay up-to-date with the latest environmental trends.
Meeting the O&M Challenges of Sustaining Green Infrastructure
Public Works staff attended a workshop on September 11th about planning long-term operation and maintenance of green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is an approach to stormwater management that utilizes natural or engineered systems that mimic natural landscapes to capture, cleanse, and reduce stormwater runoff. Local and nationwide experts shared success stories and best management practices.
Green Transportation and Smart Growth Seminar
Public Works staff attended a seminar on January 15th about Green Transportation and Smart Growth. The seminar focus was how managed transportation and land use planning to have a positive impact on people, economic vitality, and environmental health. It was sponsored by the American Public Works Association.
Concrete Streets and Local Roads Seminar
Staff recently attended the 15th Annual Concrete Streets and Local Roads seminar in Overland Park, Kansas. The seminar covered topics related to the design and construction of impervious and roller compacted concrete pavement. This seminar also took an in-depth look at the state of the practice in concrete overlay design and construction and how the social, environmental and economic benefits of choosing concrete pavement can be quantified on a local area paving project.
Public Works employees work to promote partnerships with the Mid-America Regional Council on environmental-related affairs. Staff serves on committees and attends regular meetings on Solid Waste, Air Quality, Water Quality, Operation Green Light and Household Hazardous Waste.
- Learn more about MARC Programs
If you have any comments or questions regarding the Public Works Green Focus, please contact Morris Heide by phone at (816) 325-7845 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.