By Associated Press - Monday, July 17, 2017

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - A state contractor is poring through garbage in Cedar Falls, looking for recyclables.

SCS Engineers was hired by the Iowa Natural Resources Department to provide Cedar Falls with information to help improve residents’ and businesses’ recycling efforts, The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier ( ) reported.

The data can help cities find out how many recyclables are going into landfills unnecessarily and what kinds of materials need to be targeted more for recycling, said Brent Dieleman, lead field manager with the engineering firm.

The operation is one of 10 recycling operations being sampled in the state this year. The state performed similar garbage-recycling studies in 1998, 2005 and 2011. The periodic tests allow the state to track how was has been changing, Dieleman said.

Dieleman said the team randomly selects residential and commercial trash to hand sort. They go through about 200 to 220 pounds of trash for each sample, tearing open trash bags and sorting all the material into different waste categories. Dieleman said a fair amount of cardboard has been found in the residential waste they’ve sorted through.

The Cedar Falls search is being done near the city’s garbage transfer station and recycling facility near Veterans Park and the former public works headquarters. Doyle Smith from the city of Cedar Falls says a lot of recyclables are being pulled out.

“They’re looking at 64 categories of waste, anything recyclable,” said Smith said. “The overall goal is to see what we’re getting and hopefully educate the public and the businesses how to better recycle, how to make it easier for people to recycle hopefully in the future.”


Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier,

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