WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Landfill Boosting Environmental Efforts

Jul 6, 2014

A Lee County landfill hopes to improve its operations and its bottom line.

The GRRWA will be expanding its environmental operations
Credit Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio

The Great River Regional Waste Authority (GRRWA) joined the Iowa Department of Natural Resource's Environmental Management System program in February.

GRRWA General Manager Wade Hamm says the program emphasizes improved landfill operations in six areas.

  • Yard waste management
  • Household hazardous waste collection
  • Water quality improvement
  • Greenhouse gas reduction
  • Recycling services
  • Environmental education

"It will take about two years to get everything down pat from what I gather from everybody," said Hamm.  "At the end of that, it will be second nature."

Hamm says the new program will also benefit the authority financiall.

He says landfills pay the IDNR about $4.50 for each ton of garbage collected.  He says the GRRWA will get to keep about a quarter of that if its landfill shows progress in the six areas each year.

Hamm says that would add up to an extra $78,000/year, which could be used, for example, to teach kids about recycling or to promote proper disposal of hazardous materials.