Iowa Public Radio discusses environmental issues affecting Iowans


Nick Fetty | July 8, 2014
Recycling recepticles in the Iowa City predestrian mall.  Photo by Scott Schumacher; flickr
Recycling recepticles in the Iowa City predestrian mall.
Photo by Scott Schumacher; flickr

On Mondays this July, Iowa Public Radio’s Ripple Effects series will examine environmental issues across the state.

This week’s edition featured stories about trash including a River to River segment about landfills in Iowa and waste-to-energy technology such as Ames’s Resource Recovery System. Mike Smith of the Iowa DNR discussed the possibility of groundwater contamination due to landfills while representatives from two waste-to-energy facilities discussed these alternative energy methods in Iowa.

Talk of Iowa discussed recycling in Iowa and offered advice for proper recycling practices. The report states that 50 to 80 percent of recyclable materials ends up in landfills and also examines the ecological benefits of composting. “Most of what we throw away everyday are the carbon and nitrogen – green and brown components – food and paper waste that building organic matter for soil. This is not rocket science but it is soil science,” said Scott Koepke, Chief Gardener for Soilmates Organic Garden Education Service in Iowa City.

IPR invites listeners to provide their feedback on environmental issues in Iowa by filling out this survey.

On the Radio: Iowa City businesses use composting to reduce waste


Compost pile. Photo by bunchofpants, Flickr.
Compost pile. Photo by bunchofpants, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment discusses the efforts of Iowa City businesses to reduce waste through composting.

Businesses in and around Iowa City are using composting to reduce their impact on the environment.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

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UI implements more composting efforts


Compost pile. Photo by bunchofpants, Flickr.

The University of Iowa has implemented composting techniques at many locations around the campus.

Both the UI Hillcrest Marketplace and the UI Hospitals and Clinics have food pulpers, which grind food waste into a pulp that’s easily converted into compost.

UI’s Burge Marketplace and Iowa Memorial Union also participate in composting.

In addition to creating something productive out of waste, composting also saves the UI money. For instance, using a food pulper instead of a garbage disposal at the Hillcrest Marketplace will save $25,000 a year because of the lowered water use.

Read more about other composting efforts around Iowa City in the Daily Iowan’s article here.

On the Radio: Decorah highlights sustainable living


Photo by marina, Flickr.

Check out this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below.  It features our latest sustainble city – Decorah.

Did you know you can make compost out of worm waste? Many residents in Decorah know it after the third annual Decorah Iowa Green Initiative. Continue reading