Iowa City's recycling on the rise - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City's recycling on the rise

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In just the last year, recycling in Iowa City has seen a 20% increase in participation.

City officials say it's due to strong efforts in sustainability over the last several years, thanks in part to the drop-off site program.

For Iowa City resident Bob Hradek, he wouldn't have it any other way.

"My kids call me the king of the recyclers," says Hradek. He goes on to say he makes a trip to the drop-off site weekly.

Dave Dunham makes his way to Iowa City's East Side Recycling Center a few times a week too.

"Every once in a while they're full, but I usually come back. Especially the plastic, I got more plastic than anything," said Dunham.

Jen Jordan, recycling coordinator for the city, says the 20% increase equals about 120 tons of recycled material.

"We have to come with the trucks almost everyday to empty these containers with cardboard and plastic, metal, books plastic bags and that type of thing," said Jordan.

She says the rise is specifically due to the three drop-off sites in the city.

Energy used in making cans and bottles along with the processing and shipping says Jordan, is all wasted when it gets used once and thrown away.

"It's great, it's keeping all the stuff out of the landfill," she says. "It means a little bit more revenue for the city because we do get paid from City Carton for some of the materials that we take to them. So the more recycling we have the more revenue we see overall."

Iowa City is right at the state's average in recycling participation, but Joel Wallace says more can still be done.

"Why not reuse what we waste, rather than throwing it in the landfill I think it's a good idea to recycle and reuse it over again," says Wallace, an Iowa City resident.

Jordan says about 75% of what goes into the Iowa City Landfill could be recycled or composted.

She says they will continue to educate and push for apartment recycling in an effort to continue protecting the natural environment.

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