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Iowa Waste Exchange Finds Ways to Divert Usable Materials From Landfills


Iowa’s landfills already contain far too much waste that could have been reused, but thanks to the Iowa Waste Exchange (IWE), about 4 million tons of it have gone to productive uses since 1990. Planner Alicia Presto leads the IWE program for Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, and Linn counties. In that role, she matches waste sources with organizations that can use or recycle them.


One of Presto’s projects is sourcing used mattresses that can be broken down into recyclable materials, such as steel and foam, at Willis Dady Mattress Recycling. This successful program began with a partnership between Willis Dady Homeless Services, Iowa City Landfill & Recycling, and the Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency. Willis Dady clients do the work of dismantling mattresses and salvaging the components that still have value. Mattresses that can be resold are sent to Houses into Homes or Central Furniture Rescue to find a new owner.

To learn more about IWE or business waste audits, contact Environmental Specialist Alicia Presto.

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