Motorists could soon be seeing recycling containers at more Iowa rest areas. A pilot project at eight central Iowa rest areas located near Ankeny, Mitchellville, Story City and Waukee was launched nine months ago.
The Iowa Department of Transportation placed containers for recycling aluminum cans, and glass and plastic bottles at those sites. Iowa D.O.T. rest area administrator, Steve McMenamin, says the effort has been much more successful than previous attempts at recycling.
“We don’t have hardly any commingling of trash with recyclables…that’s been a real plus that was a problems in our previous attempts,” McMenamin said. Roughly 38,000 pounds of beverage containers have been collected and recycled at the eight rest areas.
McMenamin is now hoping to expand the project to some of Iowa’s 32 other rest area locations. “I would say it’s been a great success,” McMenamin said of the recycling project.
“It’s not going to be made available everywhere that we have rest areas because they’re pretty rural…but, at least in some of the metro areas, maybe we can expand the program a little bit.”
The pilot project was funded, in part, with a $20,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. More than 15 million people visit Iowa’s rest areas every year.