What do I do with

How the Program Works

Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission offers portable recycling equipment for use at your next public or private event. Learn more about how the program works.


How the Program Works

Portable recycling equipment was initially purchased with help from an Iowa Department of Natural Resources SWAP Grant. This equipment is designed to collect plastic bottles, 5 cent deposit containers, and paper. Recycling during your event will be more effective when you follow the tips below!


Reserve Your Equipment

To get you started on your recycling journey, we have created an Event Recycling Brochure with program details. To borrow equipment for your event, an Event Recycling Application must be sent in at least two weeks prior to your event. Since equipment is loaned out on a first-come, first-served basis, it is advised that you send in your application as soon as you know your date(s). A refundable deposit check must accompany your application form and will be held until the cleaned equipment is returned after your event.


Pre-scheduled appointments (Monday – Friday only) are required to pick up (and return) your equipment. The two-person Waste Trac Education Team will coordinate a two hour window of time with you on the selected dates. Delivery of equipment is not available.


Other resources are available to assist you with planning for recycling or “greening” your event.


Festival Volunteers understand how the program works!Find Your Recycling Champions

Volunteers are not provided. Coordinating with your regular event “garbage crew” to incorporate recycle into their event route or getting assistance from scout groups, college clubs, and local civic organizations is advised. Offering the proceeds from the deposit containers in exchange for their service hours can help to sweeten the deal!


If possible, have well trained volunteers stationed near receptacles to help educate your attendees about which items to recycle and how the program works!



Promote It

Education is key to any recycling effort. Awareness should begin in the weeks ahead of the event. Integrate recycling messages into all event materials (flyers, posters, e-mail announcements, web site postings, press releases, etc.). Let your participants know you are working hard to create a great recycling opportunity at your event!


Whenever possible, include signage and/or literature at the site showing how much has been recycled already. Have your MCs remind participants over the loud speaker about the waste reduction goals that you are trying to reach and how the program works. If you have a large venue, consider listing the recycling stations on the maps that you hand out to your participants. These tips will help motivate recycling participation.


Keep Track

During your event, we ask your group to record the amount of material that you are recycling and to fill out the Post Event Report & Survey. This helps the Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission to keep track of the amount of materials diverted from the landfill and provides insight to help improve the efficiency of this program.


Recycle Your Materials

Iowa’s Beverage Containers Control Law, also known as the “Bottle Bill”, helps to recover beverage containers for recycling through their 5 cent deposit refund. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources maintains a database of registered can redemption centers. Check out their “List of Redemption Centers (Sorted by County)” for redemption center locations. Thought needs to be given beforehand to where you will have volunteers store the full bags of deposit containers, so they are secure.


Many events may choose to take their recyclables to a city recycling drop-off location. Most larger or multi-day events may choose to work with a private recycling business to station a large recycling roll-off container for the duration of their event and transport their recyclables to a sorting facility and the trash to the landfill after the event.


Cleaning and Returning the Equipment

At the end of your event, wipe down the frames, lids, and signs with Lysol wipes (provided) or soapy water to ensure that they all are free of mud, grass, gum, beverage spills, etc. Failure to properly clean all equipment will result in a $50 cleaning fee. If equipment goes missing or is returned unusable, the deposit check will be held and you will be billed the amount of the replacement. The deposit will be returned after the bill is paid.


Pre-schedule an appointment (Monday – Friday only) with the Waste Trac Education Team to return your equipment. They will inventory the items and inspect for cleanliness or any damage and return your deposit check.


Learn more about event recycling:


    Sign up to get news and updates about upcoming events, volunteering, educational programs, and more.

    Choose from three newsletters.