Dubuque is the first city in Iowa to experiment with food scrap recycling. The pilot program will run 34 weeks and is expected to see the collection of 68 tons of material that’ll be turned into compost. Paul Schultz, Dubuque’s solid waste supervisor, says the area has always been responsive to backyard compost use.
Schultz says 300 houses, businesses and institutions will be allowed to sign up under the pilot program to generate a total of just under two-tons a week, as is allowed under the permit at the landfill. He says the decision to start up a food scrap program was easy.
Schultz says when the Iowa Department of Natural Resources changed its guidelines to allow up to two-tons of food materials to go into yard waste composting sites every week, “we jumped on it.”
Schultz says everything will go into the same truck on collection day so pick-up is cost-effective. He says the recycled materials will be processed in Dubuque. He says items will be collected in a 12-gallon green curbside cart that can’t exceed more than 40-pounds on collection day.
Along with the food scraps, paper products, coffee grounds and small amounts of plant and soil material will be collected and turned into compost. The city’s goals for the program are to reduce pollution, create a beneficial product, avoid state fines and conserve landfill space. The collection period for this year will end in November.