Recycling Tips | Where to Recycle in Black Hawk County

One of the most effective ways you can help manage your waste is by recycling. Recycling reduces waste in our landfills, saves energy and natural resources, and creates jobs. According to a 2001 study done by the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the recycling industry generates over $2.4 billion annually and supports over 11,400 jobs in Iowa.

The Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission owns and oversees the operation of the Black Hawk County Landfill. However, they do not collect garbage or recyclable materials. Each City Government in Black Hawk County has customized a garbage pick-up and recycling program for their residents.

Click on the link below for recycling information for your town:
Cedar Falls
Elk Run Heights
La Porte City
Local Recycling Businesses

Before recycling, consider this…

  • Reduce – Make wise purchases by buying only what you need and buying higher quality items. Much of our garbage consists of excess packaging from food and store items. Purchasing in bulk reduces waste and saves money. Try composting to recycle your yard and food waste into a nutrient rich soil additive or fertilizer.
  • Reuse – Before recycling, think of creative ways to reuse it. Plastic grocery bags can be used as garbage bags and plastic milk jugs as bird feeders. Use both sides of a piece of paper, scrap paper for note pads, and using newspaper as recycled gift wrap.
  • Buy recycled – Look for products made from recycled material such as plastic lumber, recycled paper, and floor tile made from recycled car tires.
Recycling Tips

Whether you have curbside recycling or take your recyclables to a designated drop-off site, follow these basic guidelines when recycling your materials. Remember to follow appropriate guidelines and place materials in proper location in your area.
  1. Cardboard and Chipboard – examples: corrugated boxes, cereal boxes, shoe boxes. Make sure box is clean of food waste and flattened when recycled.
    What is it recycled into? Boxes and paper products such as paper bags.

  2. Office Paper – examples: computer paper, junk mail pieces, envelopes, colored construction paper. Make sure paper is clean of food waste and other contaminates. Paper that contains a wax coating or crayon needs to be put in the garbage.
    What is it recycled into? Notebook paper, toilet paper, tissue paper, paper towels.

  3. Newspaper, Magazines, Slick Advertisements – All of these are recyclable as long as the paper is clean.
    What is it recycled into? Insulation, ceiling tile, animal bedding, paper products.

  4. Metal Cans – examples: tuna can, canned fruits and vegetables, juices & teas in aluminum cans. You do not need to remove the labels unless otherwise noted. Wash inside of can and metal lid and recycle.
    What is it recycled into? Automobile parts, new cans.

  5. Clear and Colored Glass – examples: juice and tea bottles, salad dressing bottle, canning jars. Leave the label on, wash inside of jar and then recycle. If the lid is metal, recycle with other metals.
    What is it recycled into? Fiberglass insulation, countertops, new bottles.

  6. Plastic – examples: milk jug, detergent bottle, juice bottle, pudding cup, food tray. First, identify number of plastic by looking on the bottom of the container. The number will be found in the center of the recycle symbol. Most Plastics #1-7 are recycled locally. If you can not find a recycle symbol and number, you must discard in the garbage. Leave the label on and wash out the container before recycling.
    What is it recycled into? Plastic lumber, carpet, clothing, picnic tables, toys, roofing.

Interesting Recycling Facts
  • Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for 4 hours.
  • In Iowa, 92% of our aluminum cans are recycled thanks to the Bottle Bill.
  • Every aluminum beverage can has an average of 51% recycled content.
  • 58% of U.S. newspapers are recycled.
  • Iowa ranks 4th nationally for percent of waste recycled (41.7%).
  • Packaging accounts for more than 30% of your garbage.

City Recycling Programs in Black Hawk County

Waterloo Recycling: Many drop-off containers for recyclables are available 24 hours a day and a voluntary curb-side recycling program is also available for residents. Visit the Waterloo Waste Management Services Department website or call 319-291-4455 for information regarding drop-off locations, acceptable/non acceptable items, and the curbside program. Click here to download the Waterloo Recycling Brochure.

Cedar Falls Recycling:
Visit the Recycling Drop-off Center on State Street or take your recyclables to several convenient drop-off locations. For detailed information on items accepted (including colored glass), hours, and drop-off locations, visit the Cedar Falls Public Works website or call 319-273-8629. Click here to view the Cedar Falls Recycling Brochure.

Dunkerton Recycling: Drop-off bins are located at the corner of Canfield Road and Main Street and are open 24 hrs/day. Call 319-822-4247 for more information or visit their website.
Items Accepted:
• Clear glass bottles and jars
• Plastics #1-7
• Metal cans including tin and aluminum
• Newspaper, magazines, and advertisement inserts
• Cardboard boxes, mixed office paper, brown paper bags, and chipboard (cereal boxes)

Elk Run Recycling: Curbside recycling pick up is available every other week. Residents can also drop off recyclables behind City Hall on Lafayette Street.
For more information, call 319-232-0020 or visit the City's website.
Items Accepted:
• Cardboard and cereal boxes (flattened), mixed office paper, newspaper, magazines
• Plastics #1-7 (flattened)
• Aluminum and tin cans
• Clear glass bottles and jars

Evansdale Recycling: Drop-off recycling bins are located at the City Street
Department at 130 Brown Street. Curbside recycling pick up is also available every
other week. For details, call 319-232-6683 or click here to visit the City's website.
Items Accepted:
• Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, telephone books
• Plastics #1-7
• Office paper, shredded paper (please place in a paper bag)
• Cardboard, chipboard, paper bags
• Tin cans and metal lids
• Clear glass jars and bottles

Gilbertville Recycling: Weekly curbside recycling is available. Call city hall at 319-296-1822 or visit the City's website for additional information.
Items Accepted:
• Plastics #1-7
• Aluminum and tin cans
• Clear glass
• Cardboard, chipboard boxes, magazines and newspapers, office paper, including shredded office paper

Hudson Recycling: There is a curbside recycling program offered to the residents in Hudson every other Friday (year round). The Recycling Drop-off Center is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. It is located north of the fire department (near the city golf course) off Dale Drive. For details call 319-988-3600 or visit the City's website.
Items Accepted:
• Plastics #1-7
• Newspapers, magazines, phone books
• Office paper, cardboard
• Clear glass bottles and jars
• Metal lids and cans

La Porte City Recycling: Provides curbside recycling the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of bin
the month. Recyclable materials (except glass) must be at the curb by 7am and can be placed in one container. Recycling drop-off bins are also available at 4th and Elm Street. For more information, visit the City's website or call City Hall at 319-342-3396.
Items Accepted:
• Tin and aluminum cans
• Plastics #1-7
• Cardboard and chipboard boxes (cereal boxes)
• Mixed office paper, envelopes, newspaper, magazines, junk mail, phone books, and colored paper.
• Clear glass jars and bottles – Only accepted at drop-off bin

Raymond Recycling: Recyclables can be dropped off on the 2nd and 4th bin2
weekend of each month at the drop-off containers located just south of the City Hall. For more information, call City Hall at 319-232-6153 or visit the City's website.
Items Accepted:
• Clear, green, and brown glass
• Newspapers, magazines, office paper, shredded (bagged), phone books
• Cardboard, chipboard boxes (food boxes)
• Plastics #1-7
• Aluminum and tin cans

For more information or questions, contact The Waste Trac Education Team at 319-266-TRAC (8722).

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