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Dirty KC: Waste hauler making changes following KMBC 9 Investigation

Mar 22, 2024

Raptor Recycling and Transfer of Grandview invited KMBC to see changes

Raptor Recycling and Transfer of Grandview invited KMBC to see changes

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Raptor Recycling and Transfer of Grandview invited KMBC to see changes

Raptor Recycle and Transfer is making changes to a tarping system on 16 of its semi-trailers after a KMBC 9 News investigation.

The company is working with its tarp manufacturer to engineer a solution to keep trash and debris from flying onto Kansas City area highways.

Raptor operates a waste transfer facility in Grandview, accepting waste from roll-off dumpsters, private contractors, and neighborhood trash trucks.

The company loads the waste directly onto its semi-trailers allowing haulers to cut down on trips to the landfill.

Raptor Owner Kit Starr called for immediate improvements to the company’s trailer tarp system after seeing KMBC’s video of a soft material and a plastic bag coming from the back of two of the company’s trailers last month.

“It allowed me to get engagement with the manufacturer, fast,” Starr said.

Raptor’s trucks had the fewest number of items falling from the back of semi-trailers hauling trash or recycling along Kansas City area interstates in KMBC’s investigation.

Two other waste transfer facilities Mark II and GFL and their haulers, have not answered questions from KMBC about plastic bags, paper bags, and other debris falling from the back of trailers originating at the waste transfer facilities. All the trips KMBC followed from the Mark II and GFL facilities had waste flying off the back of trucks. KMBC continues to seek answers from both companies on what may have happened.

“Oddly enough, I'm thankful that you ran the story,” Starr said.

Starr says what KMBC uncovered led the tarp manufacturer to send engineers from South Dakota. They're now filling a gap between the tarp and frame of the trailer, Starr said. He is also aiming to securing truck tarps with special cables and hooks to prevent the tarps from flying.

He is hopeful it can lead to nationwide changes.

“You can see and continue your investigation and know that Raptor continues to innovate and solve problems, not only for Kansas City, but, potentially across the country. That's what we want people to know about us,” Starr said.

Starr even invited KMBC to follow a Raptor truck on a trip to the landfill with the new system.

While nothing noticeable flew off, KMBC did see one piece of plastic hanging from the back of the trailer.

“It wasn't what I wanted. We're not done yet,” Starr said at the end of the 25-minute trip to the Johnson County landfill from Grandview. “But we're not losing a bunch of trash.”

Starr said that trip was just the company's second beta test with the new system, saying Raptor's committed to getting it right.

“We'll have our issues solved,” he said.

If you have a tip KMBC 9 News should continue to investigate about trash and debris flying onto highways, email [email protected]