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Iowa City bans cardboard in landfill


Starting Jan. 2, Iowa City residents may no longer throw away their cardboard.

The Iowa City Landfill will no longer accept cardboard in the trash; it must be recycled at curbside or take to a recycling facility, according to a news release from Iowa City.

According to the news release, the city’s new effort will keep millions of pounds of cardboard out of the landfill; 4,000 tons of cardboard end up in the landfill each year.

City recycling coordinator Jane Wilch said in an email to The Daily Iowan that the goal of the cardboard ban is to decrease the amount of recyclable cardboard entering the landfill by increasing diversion into recycling programs.

“Cardboard is a valuable material, and by recycling it, you are keeping this material in the loop to be used again, which is much better for the environment,” Wilch said. “Not only does this help to conserve resources, it also helps to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.”

She said there are five recycling drop-off locations in Johnson County, four in Iowa City, and cardboard may also be recycled in curbside collection.

The City Council initially passed a motion on June 20 in which they voted 6-0 to ban cardboard disposal in the landfill.

At the meeting, previously reported by The Daily Iowan, Jen Jordan, the city resource management superintendent, said haulers would be partly responsible for monitoring bins for cardboard.

Only clean cardboard may be recycled; items with food scraps on them must still be thrown away.

— Naomi Hofferber

RELATED: Iowa City City Council moves on cardboard ban

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