Ellinwood honored for environmental awareness

City of Ellinwood compost pileThe Kansas Department of Health and Environment will honor Ellinwood on Wednesday for its commitment to recycling and composting.

The 2,000 residents of the small city near Great Bend divert more than 470 tons of wastes from the Barton County Landfill each year, according to KDHE.

"The City of Ellinwood demonstrated their community-wide commitment to environmental stewardship when City Administrator Bob Peter, the Rotary Club, and Chamber of Commerce chose a 'Going Green' theme for their annual After Harvest festival and activities,'' Bill Bider, KDHE's director of Bureau of Waste Management, said in a statement.

Ellinwood, which has had a reycling program for 20 years and composting for about 10, is the first city in Kansas to be honored by KDHE for its commitment to solid-waste management.

The city maintains drop-off sites near its offices for recycling of aluminum and steel cans, paper, and plastic. That diverts about 70 tons of waste a year from the landfill, KDHE said.

The companion composting site diverts 400 tons of yard waste and debris, the agency said.

KDHE will formally recognize the community’s efforts in a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the public library, 210 North Schiller.

"It is our intention to look for other cities, counties, non-profits organizations, and private businesses that are truly making a difference in their communities by voluntarily adopting practices that will provide long-term benefits to their citizens," Bider said.