A new pilot program launched by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is designed to help the environment and expand services to the public. The D.N.R’s Leslie Goldsmith says six solid waste service agencies from around the state will participate in the year long project. She says the goal is to “raise the bar” in terms of recycling services and waste and greenhouse gas reduction.
“Presently, we have a comprehensive planning system where once every three years they turn in a report card (explaining) what they’ve been doing for the environment. This will require annual reports and they’ll have to demonstrate they’re improving,” Goldsmith said. The Environmental Management System (EMS) designation pilot program stems from 2008 legislation that set aside roughly $600,000. Goldsmith says each participating agency will come up with their own ideas to improve their programs. The plans could involve reducing water runoff from landfills or expanding yard waste recycling efforts.
“They might have a composting facility, so they might start doing food composting at their site,” Goldsmith said. There are 44 solid waste planning agencies in the state. Goldsmith is hoping all of them can get involved in the effort once the pilot project is complete next October.
“We’re hoping that sooner or later, nearly all of the 44 solid waste planning areas jump on board,” Goldsmith said. The six areas selected to participate in the EMS pilot program include; Cass County Environmental Control Agency, Cedar Rapids-Linn County Landfill Service Area, Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency, Metro Waste Authority Landfill Service Area in Perry, Rathbun Area Solid Waste Management Commission and Waste Commission of Scott County.
See more information on the program here.