Recycling Education

Local Guidelines

Cities across the United States, and even across Iowa, have slightly different recycling rules. The key to a successful, sustainable recycling program is to recycle the correct items, reducing the amount of contamination (garbage) that winds up in sorting facilities.

What makes something recyclable? There are two primary elements:

  1. A manufacturer has a demand for the product and the ability to reuse it.
  2. The recycling sorting facility has a process to separate the material from the others.

When these factors align, residents can recycle product in their curbside bins or at a local drop-off facility. As the industry and technology evolves, new materials may be accepted. For this reason, it’s important to stay up-to-date on your local recycling guidelines:

Visit the Iowa Green List >
This directory, maintained by the Iowa DNR, helps users identify how to properly recycle, reuse and dispose of materials no longer needed. Note: The Iowa Green List is currently undergoing renovations. For recycling opportunities in your area, visit https://recyclesearch.com.

Contact your Local Landfill >
The local landfill is one of the best resources to determine what is recyclable and what belongs in the garbage. If they don’t manage the recycling program in your area, they can point you in the right direction.

Learn about Iowa’s Bottle Bill >
Iowa’s Beverage Containers Control Law, also known as the “Bottle Bill,” helps reduce and clean up litter by recovering beverage containers for recycling.

Solid Waste Educators

Iowa’s Solid Waste Educators Group is made up of individuals who work at recycling centers or landfills or who lead waste management education in Iowa. Working in partnership with the Iowa Recycling Association, the group meets several times a year to network, take tours and share ideas about how to make solid waste education fun, interactive and current.

Join the Solid Waste Educators Listserv >
Network with solid waste educators and learn what they’re up to.

Find an Educator Near You >
Find a recycling educator in your area and learn about the programs they offer.

Additional Resources


For Educators and the Public >