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Beverage container recycling pilot project at Iowa rest areas underway

June 9, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald - AMES- Travelers stopping at eight central Iowa interstate rest areas will soon be able to recycle aluminum cans and plastic and glass bottles by placing them in new recycling containers conveniently located at these locations.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) will kick off a year-long pilot project - Iowa Recycles on the Road – this week at rest areas located near Ankeny, Mitchellville, Story City and Waukee.

“More than 2.8 million people stop at these eight rest areas annually and many of them have beverage containers in their vehicles they would like to recycle. This pilot project will provide the traveling public with convenient, recycling containers to collect them,” explained Steve McMenamin, Iowa DOT rest area administrator.

Additional goals for the pilot project include: increased public awareness of the environmental benefits of recycling beverage containers; reinforcement of the traveling public’s established household patterns of recycling with Iowa Recycles on the Road program; and shared responsibility in litter prevention and in keeping Iowa beautiful for all visitors to enjoy.

The comingled beverage containers collected at the rest areas will be transported by Waste Management of Iowa to the International Paper Co. in Des Moines, a regional material recovery facility. At this facility, the aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles will be processed and shipped to end users, who will use the materials to manufacture new beverage containers and other recycled products.

“We anticipate a tremendous response from the traveling public to the recycling pilot project. The experience will also help the Iowa DOT identify best management practices for determining future expansion plans of the recycling effort to 32 additional Iowa interstate rest areas that serve 13.2 million people annually,” stated McMenamin.

In addition to the Iowa DOT, project partners include the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Solid Waste Alternatives Program, Keep Iowa Beautiful and Waste Management of Iowa.


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