Information regarding “Open Burning” policies in Johnson County was recently released by the County’s Community Health Center. Click to hear KMZU’s Jillian Molloy talk with Johnson County Health Coordinator Sabetha Kistner.

Sabetha Kistner

Press Release from the Johnson County Community Health Services:

Now that the “spring” rains seem to have finally stopped many property owners will be mowing, trimming and generally cleaning up their properties. Besides beautifying the property, removing the trash and debris that can hold water is an important means to
reduce the mosquito population and prevent mosquito borne illnesses. Some things to consider when cleaning up your property are how to properly dispose of the waste.

Johnson County Community Health Services (JCCHS) encourages all residents and businesses in Johnson County to reuse, recycle and compost waste whenever possible. When this is not possible, the waste should be disposed in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) regulations so as not to cause personal injury or pollute the air, soil and water we all use. In 2010, three people died as the result of open burning in Missouri and several
more were injured.

Tree limbs, grass trimmings and leaves may be burned in the county but a better alternative is to chip, shred and compost these materials. The compost makes excellent free fertilizer and the tree limbs can be used for mulch. Small brush piles left along a fencerow may provide habitat for wildlife. Alternatives to burning are available on the EPA web site at www.epa.gov. A permit to burn leaves and brush is required in the cities of Warrensburg, Holden and Knob Noster.
State regulations prohibit open burning of any waste generated by a business, trade, industry, or any demolition operation. This includes paper, cardboard, pallets, tires, rubber products, hazardous waste, polystyrene (Styrofoam) vinyl siding, asbestos containing
material, plastics, petroleum based products and treat wood.

Additional information about open burning in Missouri can be found on the MDNR website: http://dnr.mo.gov/pubs/pub2047.pdf.
County residents that choose to burn household waste should be aware of the health risks. Because of lower combustion temperatures, trash burned at private homes burns less
efficiently, releasing high levels of dangerous pollutants, including dioxins, volatile organic compounds, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, hydrogen chloride and naphthalene. Open burning exposes individuals to toxic emissions that may irritate the eyes, skin and
upper respiratory tract, and depress the central nervous system to cause headache, dizziness and fatigue. Additional information on the dangers of backyard burning can be found on the web at www.epa.gov/msw/backyard.429 Burkarth Rd, Warrensburg, MO 64093 ● Phone 660-747-6121 ● Fax 660-747-6087 ● www.johnsoncountyhealth.org

The Missouri State Fire Marshal recommends the following safety tips:
• Keep fire a minimum of 75 feet from all buildings
• Never use gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid to start the fire
• Do not leave a fire unattended
• Have fire extinguishment materials on hand, including a water supply and shovels
• Be prepared to extinguish your fire if the winds pick up
• Do not delay a call for help – call 911 immediately at the first sign of fire getting out of control

Johnson County Sheltered Workshop, 660-747-7900, located at 607 Ridgeview D in Warrensburg accepts many forms of household waste for recycling. Information about other types of recycling can be found on the MDNR website
http://dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/rrr/rrr.htm.

To report a violation of MO Department of Natural Resources call 816-622-7000 or issue a complaint online, http://dnr.mo.gov/concern.htm.

More information is available on the Johnson County Community Heath Services web site at www.johnsoncountyhealth.org or contact JCCHS at 1-660-747-6121.