Iowa City simplifies, switches to single-stream recycling

Iowa City prepares to simplify its curbside recycling system.


Ben Smith

FILE - Thousands of cans and bottles are seen at City Carton Recycling on Thursday, March 23, 2017. HF 575, which has been coined the "Bottle Bill," will amend current legislation to get rid of the 5 cent cans and bottles deposit. (The Daily/Ben Smith)

Andy Mitchell, [email protected]

Effective Dec. 4, Iowa City is adopting a change in its curbside recycling program, changing to a single-stream system.

“Part of the goal here is to increase participation,” Iowa City recycling coordinator Jane Wilch said. “It’s an easier program to participate in.”

In a single stream, recyclable materials — except for plastic bags and glass items — do not require sorting before curbside pickup. Plastic bags and glass items will not be allowed in the interest of the well-being of the workers and functionality of the machines.

Iowa City residents will be able to place all of the other recyclables in the 18-gallon bins as usual.

“It’s been in the discussion for many years,” Wilch said. “We took notes on other communities and looked at the success of single stream.”

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Wilch said Iowa City looks to improve upon existing single-sort systems.

“The main thing that we’ve seen from other communities is they’ve seen a slight increased rate of contamination,” she said. “We want to monitor the bins closely and do more outreach and education.”

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, the city of Iowa City’s official Twitter account will do a live “Tweet-along” to explain how single-stream recycling works and to educate the public on how to recycle. All information on the city’s new system will be available on the official Iowa City website.

Wilch also said residents looking to recycle, items including plastic bags and glass materials may do so at Iowa City’s various recycling drop-off points: East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd. S.E.; Republic Services (formerly City Carton Recycling), 3 E. Benton St.; 1201 N. Dodge St.; and Iowa City Landfill & Recycling Center, 3900 Hebl Ave. S.W.

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