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.

From Trash to Energy


Photo by Jeffery Beall; Flickr

 

Waste Management, a Houston company, will break ground this week on a $7 million methane gas recovery facility at Iowa’s biggest landfill in eastern Polk County.  Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Iowa City businesses help the environment through composting


Photo by Plan for Opportunity, Flickr.
Photo by Plan for Opportunity, Flickr.

Some Iowa City businesses are composting to reduce their impact on the environment.

The Bluebird Diner, New Pioneer Co-op and four Iowa City-area Hy-Vee stores all have composting programs.

Composting helps the environment by producing healthier soil and by keeping food waste out of landfills. As food decomposes in landfills, it releases the greenhouse gas methane.

Read more about the environmental efforts of Iowa City businesses here.

On the Radio: UI Hospitals and Clinics decrease cafeteria waste


Photo by max-R, Flickr.
Photo by max-R, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment discusses the addition of compost bins to cafeterias at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are improving sustainability by adding compost bins to their cafeterias.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

New industrial and electronics recycling facility


Photo by Bert van Dijk, Flickr.
Photo by Bert van Dijk, Flickr.

A new industrial and electronic recycling center has opened in Baxter.

H&W Recycling accepts items such as refrigerators and cell phones. The company scraps what they receive for metal and then sells it to a Metal Recycling facility in Des Moines. This business should help keep appliances and electronics out of the landfill.

Electronic waste is responsible for 40 percent of the lead and 75 percent of the heavy metals in landfills. Both materials are toxic and can leach into the groundwater if disposed of incorrectly.

Read the full story here.

Proposed plans to rebuild fire damaged Iowa City landfill


Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Flickr.
Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Flickr.

The Iowa City landfill that was damaged during this summer’s fire could soon be rebuilt.

The city council is considering plans to rebuild the landfill today. If approved, the project will likely be completed this summer.

Plans for the new landfill will include new precautions to prevent fire.

Read more here.