Resource recovery, environmentalism & sustainability
At the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, we know a lot about what people throw away. In fact, during the past 15 years, we've conducted four waste studies so we know exactly what is in your garbage. As a result, we've implemented many programs to divert material to more productive uses.
We understand how landfills interact with the environment; it's our responsibility. Through permitting and inspections, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources recognizes our professional stewardship. In additon, the Iowa chapter of the Solid Waste Organization of North America and the Iowa Recycling Association have acknowledged our management efforts with awards and honors.
For us, resource recovery, environmentalism and sustainability aren't just "buzz words." We act on these concepts. Here's how:
- We implement programs designed to recover resources and protect the environment. Among items once trashed and now recycled--cardboard, televisions/computer monitors, asphalt shingles, and carpet.
- We are among a small group of solid waste organizations selected to implement an Environmental Management System (EMS), a program initiated by the Iowa legislature in 2009. Now, we are a certified EMS agency.
- Each year, we spend more than $100,000 diverting chemicals, batteries, medical sharps and other hazardous materials from landfilling. The cost is hidden from you because these drop-off programs are offered "free" to Linn County residents.
- We employ a full-time educator to teach residents and students about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. Our educator is an Iowa licensed teacher with nearly a decade of classroom experience.
- At our sites, we promote energy conservation through our "no idling" policy and upgrades to facility lighting and heating equipment. We support alternative energy by participating in the Second Nature program offered by Alliant Energy.
- Our administrators drive a hybrid vehicle that saves on fuel costs and reduces fossil-fuel emissions, which affect the quality of our air.
- We are building a state-of-the-art Resource Recovery facility to help residential and commercial recycling efforts; scheduled to open in Fall 2013.