Editors note: The City of Ellinwood will be recognized by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Sept. 29 due to its green initiatives.
ELLINWOOD — The City of Ellinwood is doing its part to "go green." The two most visible steps taken are the recycling center and the compost site.
The recycling center was first started by the city and a group of citizen volunteers more than 20 years ago. The center was first located in the old Deep Rock gas station which was located south of RMAC’s and State Farm Insurance. Drake Sanitation from Lyons disposed of the materials. A few years later, the center was re-located to the city building directly west of the power plant. Various citizen volunteers and civic groups manned the center on Saturday mornings. The materials were placed in cardboard containers for pick up by Drake. In the early 1990’s and to this day, the materials are delivered to First Step Recycling in Great Bend. In 2002, the City successfully obtained a partial grant to obtain a recycle trailer. The trailer contains bins for various materials. When full, the trailer with materials is delivered to First Step Recycling in Great Bend. Our largest single amount in one year is 141,921 pounds in 2005. Since 2002, more than 1,011,900 pounds of recyclable material has been delivered to First Step.
In addition to the materials accepted in the trailer, the City accepts card board at the power plant and some metal products at the city shop.
The City compost site located at the airport was developed when the Barton County landfill stopped taking yard waste. Since its inception, Ellinwood citizens have utilized the site to dispose of all yard waste including tree limbs and shrubs. With a very few exceptions, the citizens have followed the rules of the site and it is the envy of other Barton County communities. The site was especially useful in the 2007 ice storm. Not counting the tree limbs from the ice storm, it is estimated the site has received in excess of 3,500 tons per year of yard waste and tree limbs. Over the 10 years the compost site has been in existence, the amount exceeds 35,000 tons or, in other words, more than 70 million pounds.
On the electrical side, Ellinwood is now a member of the Kansas Power Pool. KPP members jointly purchase electrical power at wholesale prices for delivery to the membership. The KPP membership has been very active in seeking renewable energy and is quickly becoming a leader in seeking out renewable energy to add to its power portfolio. KPP has a 20 year contract with John Deere Wind for 100% of the energy output from the new Greensburg wind farm. KPP also has a five year contract for 100% of the energy output from the Bowersock hydroelectric facility in Lawrence, Kansas. Bowersock is the only hydro power facility in the State of Kansas. KPP and its members will continue to seek opportunities to invest in renewable energy.
Our wastewater treatment plant is a state of the art facility that was engineered with the environment in mind. The effluent from the facility is approved by the State of Kansas for discharge into the Arkansas River. Other byproducts from the facility have also been approved by the State for land application.
The City of Ellinwood will continue to look for ways to "go green".