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November 29, 2023
The EPA has awarded a $4 million grant to the Landfill and Recycling Center in Iowa City, which was a pleasant surprise for Jane Wilch, the City of Iowa’s Recycling Coordinator.
“I think we had to pinch ourselves,” said Wilch.
The $4 million dollar grant will go towards improving the city’s recycling infrastructure.
“What we have coming about in the next three to five years is a big expansion and improvement to our existing composting facility. That is going to be able to increase our capacity of how much incoming organic material we can accept,” said Wilch.
The Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center is currently able to process 15,000 tons of food waste a year. Now, with the new grant money, the site will be able to increase that number to 20,000.
“For over a decade, we’ve been working to create accessibility and make composting easier for our residents and for our service area. So, it’s a really great time to be considering expanding the facility,” said Wilch.
The compost produced from the center goes to farmland, gardens, and lawns. Although, the city can’t accept food waste from restaurants and the like because there isn’t enough room. Luckily, the grant money will help with this issue.
“Right now, there’s not a whole lot of other outreach we can do to such generators as businesses or industry where there could be a lot of food waste being generated. We just can’t quite tap into those areas of the community yet, though, with an at-capacity compost facility,” said Wilch.
Construction is expected to begin on the expanded composting center in the spring of 2024.
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