KC’s Independence Avenue community making push to clean up, install more recycling bins


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police research has proven clean neighborhoods are safer neighborhoods.

Merchants along Independence Avenue are hoping that’s true, having learned grant money will be used to install more blue recycling bins along their streets. More than 20 of them already exist.

The Independence Avenue Community Improvement District plans to use nearly $11,000 in funds granted by the Mid-America Regional Council to purchase 20 more. A representative from the CID said those cans cost $700 apiece since they have to be made to specifications.

“We typically do about 10 tons of recycling per year that we take out of recycling bins. We service them at least two to three times per week,” said Mike Spady, an economic development ambassador for the CID. 

Spady manages a team of 10 people who patrol Independence Avenue picking up garbage. The Old Northeast neighborhood continues to battle crime and litter.

Spady said more than 25,000 cars travel that stretch of road every day. Many of the new recycle bins will be located near KCATA Ride KC bus stops, he said.

“We want to get more people to recycle more recyclable materials. The side benefit of that is people will have less trash,” Spady said.

Part of the logic is that less trash will also lead to less crime. Crime reports traditionally prove cleaner neighborhoods have fewer problems with violent crime.

Business operators, including Brian Szafranski from Boulevard Pastries,  said they’re glad someone’s addressing this problem.

“Just knowing people care enough or just care enough to have the jobs to do it. It’s something that matters to people. I think people like seeing other people care about their neighborhood too,” Szafranski said.

“The tidier your neighborhood looks, the safer it’s going to appear for its citizens and visitors. That’s a reality,” Spady added.

Spady said he expects those new bins will be installed by the first of December.



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