The Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission encourages businesses waste reduction within the landfill’s service area to reduce the amount of materials entering the Black Hawk County Sanitary Landfill. Business waste reduction can help your businesses save money and reduce the impact on the environment.
Business Waste Reduction Programs and Grants
Several state and local agencies are available to assist businesses with finding markets for waste products and reducing the amount of waste produced.
Iowa Waste Exchange (IWE)
To help divert business materials from the landfill, the Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission provides a local match (and additional coverage within Black Hawk County) for extended activities with the Iowa Waste Exchange (IWE) program. IWE is a free and non-regulatory service through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. IWE assists school, hospital, community, and business waste reduction efforts. They help to identify items in the waste stream and match those items with other manufacturers, recyclers and end users who are able to use the by-products. IWE also maintains a searchable database with over 13,000 materials.
Contact Tammy Turner at 319-235-0311 for more information.
Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC)
The Iowa Waste Reduction Center, is located on the University of Northern Iowa campus. IWRC works with Iowa small businesses (with less than 200 employees) to improve the efficiency of their daily processes. They also provide environmental consulting, technical and direct assistance, training, and education.
Pollution Prevention Services (P2)
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources offers free and non-regulatory Pollution Prevention Services to businesses. Services include energy, water, and waste assessments, the Pollution Prevention Intern Program, Environmental Management System (EMS) program assistance, and training opportunities.
SWAP Grant Program
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources manages the Solid Waste Alternative Program (SWAP) grant program to provide financial assistance and reduce the amount of solid waste generated (and landfilled) in Iowa. Any local governments, public or private groups or individuals are eligible to apply for program funds.
EPA ReCon Tool
The EPA created the Recycled Content (ReCon) Tool to help estimate the environmental impacts from purchasing and/or manufacturing materials with varying degrees of post-consumer recycled content.
More Tips to Green Your Business
Integrating some (or all) of the following business waste reduction tips and eco-friendly practices can help your bottom line – as well as the environment!
Perform a Waste Audit
- Everyone makes trash – it’s just a fact of life! Assessing the types of waste and amounts generated can help you determine ways to reduce the amount of waste that your company generates.
- Basic Waste Audit
- In-depth Waste Audit (including weight to volume conversions for different types of materials)
- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources also provides information about performing a waste sort.
Recycle cardboard, office paper, newspaper, cans, and more!
- Check out these tips for launching a recycling program.
- Evaluate your cardboard quantities:
- If your business generates a large amount of cardboard, then consider having a separate dumpster placed specifically for that.
- In some cases, you may also be able to include your office paper and newspaper in the cardboard dumpster as well.
- If you generate large quantities of cardboard, you may want to consider purchasing a baler to market your baled materials to a recycling broker.
- Recycling Collection: If your garbage hauler does not provide recycling collection, contact a commercial recycling company. Collection fees may apply.
- If your lunch room and offices only generate a small amount of recycling, then consider taking your recyclables to a your nearest recycling drop-off site. Customize these recycling sign templates for your location!
- Keep America Beautiful has a wide vary of recycling resources
Recycle Other Items Too!
- Start a Terracycle Brigade and recycle certain types of snack packaging, chip bags, solo cups, and other items that are not typically accepted in regular recycling programs.
- Recycle during your next corporate event or employee get-together! Borrow the Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission’s portable recycling equipment to easily collect plastic bottles, deposit containers, and office paper during your event!
- Not sure where to recycle an item? Earth911.com has an easy “search by zip code” feature to find nearby locations that may accept your item.
- Check out this list of great recycling and waste related resources, curriculum ideas, and earth friendly groups!
Reduce the amount of food wasted through your business!
- Feed hungry people, start a compost program, or use it to generate energy – just keep food out of the landfill!
- Properly dispose of any hazardous waste generated through your business or used on your site.
- The EPA’s Safer Choice Standard can help you choose “greener” products and services that can help to reduce the potential human health and environmental impacts from the product’s usage. Explore their interactive map or use their search box to find a wide variety of Safer Choice products.
Plan Green(er) Meetings and Events
- The Iowa Green Meetings and Events Guide can help you plan more environmentally friendly gatherings of all sizes and includes best practice information, checklists, resources, and sample policies.
- The EPA’s Pollution Prevention Program offers tips, tools and resources for planning green meetings.
- Borrow the Commission’s portable recycling equipment to collect beverage containers during your event!
- Help your community recycle their electronics and household toxic materials! Encourage your employees to volunteer during the next commission sponsored drop-off event. Help as an individual or form a team!
How Big Is Your Footprint?
- Calculate the carbon footprint of your business.