Motorists who make a pit stop at some of Iowa’s rest areas will soon be able to recycle beverage containers. The Iowa Department of Transportation is launching a year-long pilot project by placing recycling bins at eight rest areas near Ankeny, Mitchellville, Story City and Waukee.

Iowa DOT rest area administrator Steve McMenamin says it’s service travelers have been requesting. “It’s something we’ve talked about off and on for several years,” McMenamin said. “We tried it a number of years ago and, to be quite frank, it didn’t work very well. Recycling has come a long way from when we first tried this and co-mingling of trash into the recyclables is not such a big deal as it was a few years ago. So, we thought maybe it’s time we try this again.”

Waste Management of Iowa will document the amount of recyclables that are diverted from landfills. McMenamin hopes the program can be expanded next year to most of Iowa’s 40 rest areas. More than 15 million people visit Iowa’s rest areas every year.

The pilot project is being partially funded by a nearly $20,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.