Le Mars named Iowa’s top recycling city


Photo by jimmywayne, Flickr

After an incredible increase in recycling, the Department of Natural Resources named Le Mars Iowa’s top recycling city. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports that their city has more than quadrupled their recycling between 2006 and 2010:

Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff announced the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is marketing the city as the No.1 model for recycling success.

Kirchoff said he was asked to contribute information about the city’s recycling program for a DNR color brochure on the Solid Waste Alternatives Program (SWAP).

SWAP offers financial help to develop and implement recycling and solid waste management projects, according to the DNR.

The city has received three $20,000 forgivable loans through SWAP, according to Le Mars Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole.

Reports to the city council indicate the money has been used to help pay for the cost of buying blue tote recycling containers and to promote recycling in cooperation with Van’s Sanitation and Recycling, of Le Mars, and the Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency.

Kirchoff wrote about an increase in recycling as part of his information for the DNR SWAP publication.

“Since partnering with the Iowa DNR and SWAP, the city has gone from recycling 90 tons of solid waste in 2006 to recycling 407 tons in 2010,” Kirchoff wrote.

Le Mars isn’t satisfied with this success, and has taken measures to increase recycling beyond their 2010 numbers. Contributing to this increase is the city’s new mandatory recycling program.

Quarterly reports cover what has happened with the program in the quarter and, at the end of the contract, a summary report covering the history of the program as well as successes and failures is submitted, Cole said.

The most recent recycling volume report indicated citizens kept 418 tons out of the landfill by recycling during the first seven months of this year.

The latest city information indicates the 2010 recycling effort is surpassed.

The city council mandated recycling by rotating recycling and trash collection every other week as of January 1. Prior to that, trash was picked up weekly.

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