Don’t use red trash bags for household garbage

Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

Northeast News
May 29, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City, Mo., Public Works Department is advising residents to avoid using red trash bags for disposal of household garbage.

According to a press release, Public Works officials recently learned about an individual selling red trash bags door-to-door.  Several residents attempted to use the bags for household trash but the Public Works Department crew could not collected them because red bags are typically used to dispose of hazardous waste. City crews cannot collect red bags left on the curb.

Sean Demory, public information officer for the Public Works Department, said the department received several hundred complaints from residents who used the red bags for trash. The complaints are how the department learned about the issue. The department uses specific disposal methods for biological waste.

“If the bags have a bio-hazard symbol on them, the city cannot collect them,” Demory said, adding when crews see the bags, they assume there is medical waste in them. “And we’re not equipped to dump that in the landfills.”

Demory said the department isn’t sure who is selling the bags or if there is any illegal activity behind the sales. If the bags are available to the public, which he believes they are, he said there’s a real possibility someone is just reselling the bags.

“We just know we can’t collect them [the bags],” Demory said.

To learn more about the city’s household hazardous waste, recycling, tire and leaf/brush drop-off sites, visit