North Dodge Hy-vee recycling drop off center moving to Riverside Drive

On Sept. 21, the recycling drop off containers located at the North Dodge Hy-Vee parking lot will be moving across town to South Riverside due to Hy-Vee’s request for relocation.


The site of the new location 1200 South Riverside Dr. for Iowa City recycle bins. As seen on Tuesday Sept.15, 2020.

Morgan Ungs, News Reporter

The Iowa City Recycling Center will move to a city-owned location on Sept. 21, causing mixed community feelings about the change in distance.

The center, previously located on Dodge Street and owned by Hy-Vee, will move 3.3. miles to 12001 S. Riverside Drive as Hy-Vee plans another use for the lot.

Iowa City Recycling Coordinator Jane Wilch said the city is excited for the move — as the city may save on costs in the future — but it wasn’t the city’s plan.

“We’ve been using that parking lot for a number of years,” Wilch said. “And we really appreciate the partnership with Hy-Vee. We just talked to them recently and it sounds like they have some anticipated future development or uses for the site where we are currently located. And so that is the reason for the move.”

A Hy-Vee spokesperson did not say what the Midwest-based grocery chain plans to do with the vacant lot.

“For several years, Hy-Vee has provided the City of Iowa City use of its property at 1201 North Dodge as a recycling drop-off for its residents,” said Dawn Buzynski, Hy-Vee’s director of strategic communications. “At the beginning of August, we asked the city to find another location because we have a future use for the property that will be announced at a later date. It was our intention to provide the city with enough time to find a new location for the recycling drop-off. We are pleased that city officials found a location quickly and there will be little to no disruption for residents.”

Jennifer Baum voiced her discontent with the move on the City of Iowa City Facebook page. She said this move would be a bad thing for people that live on the north side of the city.

RELATED: Recycling rates in Iowa City increase by 30 percent

“It really hurts the renters that use that site,” Baum wrote in the Facebook post. “Most landlords don’t offer recycling bins. I understand the logic, but I think it ignores quite a large chunk of folks.”

Wilch said the property on Riverside Drive was the most immediate location available on short notice.

The city will end up saving vehicle miles traveled related to emptying and maintaining the recycling containers. This will reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, Wilch, the recycling coordinator, said.

Wilch added that the city estimates the new location will save them about 40 truck miles per week, and 30,000 truck miles per year.

Iowa City Resource Management Superintendent Jennifer Jordan said moving the recycling center to Riverside Drive will allow the city to utilize more efficient equipment.

“Since this is a city site, we’ll be able to work toward a compactor for cardboard.” Jordan said. “With a compactor, the cardboard is compressed in the machine and holds a lot more than the non-compacted containers we have now. We’d likely be able to reduce down to two trips per week total.”

At the North Dodge site, the city did not have these compactors, Jordan said, so the containers would have to be dumped roughly 15 times per week. The same situation occurred a few years ago at the East Side Recycling Center, and with the help of a compactor, the city saved an estimated $91,000 in the first year on fuel, equipment, and staff time.

Wilch said although this North Dodge site received heavy traffic, the city wants to make sure it maintains at least three drop off sites at all times.

“We’re always trying to make our recycling programs as accessible and easy to use as possible,” she said. “We do appreciate the dedication that our residents have to recycle. We think we’ve got an awesome community that really cares about recycling and about the environment.”

Where to drop off recycling in Iowa City and Coralville

– East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd. SE

– Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, 3900 Hebl Ave. SW

– Coralville Recycling Center, 950 Hughes St.