Environmentalists oppose attempt to
repeal key recycling law in Iowa
“This legislation repeats an attempt made last year in Illinois. If enacted in Iowa, the bill would constitute the first frontal assault on one of the more successful pillars of America’s recycling policy,” said Bill Sheehan, co-director of the Athens, GA-based GrassRoots Recycling Network. “The proposal would overturn source separation programs for composting yard trimmings and a Iowa ban on yard trimmings in landfills. Yard trimming programs have also been enacted in at least 21 other states,” he said.
“The Coalition to Oppose Attacks on Recycling in America is countering Des Moines’ attempt to amend the current Iowa law banning the disposal of yard trimmings so that the City can save the cost of separate collection of yard debris,” said Friends of the Earth’s Erich Pica. He stated that five times as much can be saved by continuing the ban but simply eliminating curbside collection of grass clippings. Instead, encourage homeowners to leave the clippings on their lawn as a soil amendment, he said.
Such a reversal would “undermine one of the most important elements of America’s recycling efforts,” according to Allen Hershkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Iowa’s yard waste ban has been a huge success in reducing the need for additional landfills and promoting successful composting of yard trimmings, and it should be maintained,” according to Hershkowitz.
“Bans on disposal of yard trimmings in landfills have made it possible to essentially double the overall diversion rate and are absolutely vital to achieving America’s recycling goals, which is why 21 other states have also enacted laws banning disposal of yard trimmings,” noted Neil Seldman from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
bans would undermine the American composting industry,” said Jim
McNelly from the U.S. Composting Council.
In a letter to Governor Thomas J. Vilsack, the organizations urged the Board to veto the proposal, said Rod Tyler of the Filtrexx International.
discussion of the issue is posted at www.GRRN.org/landfill/yardtrimmings/