There’s been a 35 percent reduction in the amount of trash Iowans send to landfills over the past 16 years. Brian Tormey, an administrator in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says about 35 percent of the trash in landfills is paper. Fifteen percent of the stuff is plastic, five percent is metal, and about two-and-a-half percent is glass. But over 10 percent is food waste and nearly two percent is yard waste, which is supposed to be banned from landfills. Tormey says if you’ve got a recycling program in your community, please use it. Tormey says there’s no reason to be putting organic material like coffee grounds and other food waste or grass clippings in a landfill. He encourages Iowans to compost those materials. Tormey says Iowans do relatively well compared to residents in other states when it comes to conserving or recycling. Iowa ranks in the top ten in the number of curbside recycling programs. “We’re doing pretty good,” Tormey says. He urges Iowans to visit the D-N-R’s website for recycling tips. Tormey also says homeowners need to keep hazardous materials like paint out of the landfills and take old paint to recycling centers.
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