This summer Iowa City will open the East Side Recycling Center, a $3.8 million complex, funded by landfill revenue. The center and its surrounding area will be a model for sustainability, but not just because of its role in reprocessing the city’s waste.
First, the multi-building complex will serve as a one-stop recycling hub, including drop-off bins for oil and electronics, pick-up stations for wood chips and compost and salvage shops for building materials and furniture.
It also will feature an environmental education center — a public meeting facility where city staff and local groups can hold programs and classes focusing on sustainability.
The complex also is being built to be itself as sustainable as possible, incorporating geothermal heating and cooling, a wind turbine to generate power and biocells to treat the storm-water runoff.
And there will be plenty of greenery on the site, with rain gardens, bioswales, vegetation atop the education center’s roof and an outdoor education area.