September 28, 2016 – Kathy Morris, Waste Commission of Scott County Director, reported the largest and most impactful update was the completion and opening of the single-stream recycling facility. She thanked the many partners in the region for a true collaboration to finance and support the facility. The Scott County Board issued bonds, and the Waste Commission received a closed-loop grant to finance the construction. Communities and businesses from both Iowa and Illinois are utilizing the facility, which has seen a 102% increase in material accepted in the first two months of operation. Recycling contamination is higher with the single-stream program; however, it is still below 10%, which is very good for a single-stream recycling facility. Ms. Morris stated that the cities and Waste Commission are currently working with households to “right-size” their recycling cart, and are receiving more requests for smaller carts than anticipated. Since the footprint of the smaller cart is only slightly smaller than the current carts, staff has been asking residents to consider that recyclables generally increase around the holidays.
Ms. Morris stated that in addition to the single-stream facility, the Waste Commission has made changes to its electronic recycling and household hazardous waste program. The hours of operation have been expanded to include later hours two days a week and Saturday hours once a month.
Brian Stineman, Director of Public Works for the City of Muscatine, explained that the previous City of Muscatine Solid Waste Manager moved on, and Kristy Korpi is the interim Solid Waste Manager in addition to her role as Transit Manager. Mr. Stineman also announced that the City of Muscatine is updating its Landfill Master Plan. The Muscatine Landfill will be running out of space soon, and the city and the Waste Commission of Scott County are evaluating a collaboration on landfills and recycling. Bi-State has assisted the city and Waste Commission in writing two grant applications to fund a feasibility study on the collaboration. A collaboration is anticipated to be beneficial; however, the study is needed to ensure the collaboration will be economically and environmentally beneficial for both the city and the Waste Commission.
Laura Berkley, Bi-State Staff Coordinator for the Rock Island County Waste Management Agency (RICWMA), announced that RICWMA has signed a new contract with Republic Services for the drop-off recycling program. The new contract includes refurbishing existing containers to make them accessible at ground level. This will enable the host cities to remove the stairs at the site. RICWMA also partners with the Waste Commission of Scott County to provide electronic recycling and household hazard material disposal for Rock Island County residents. The Rock Island County Health Department is coordinating with IL EPA to provide a governmental tire collection in late October or early November.
Ms. Berkley stated that the Atkinson Landfill has been closed since 2013 due to IL EPA violations by the operator, but may have an opportunity to reopen later this year. Roger Gradert, Henry County Chairman, stated that the buyer has withdrawn its proposal, and the landfill reopening is on hold. In addition to the landfill, many communities in Henry County continue to provide solid waste and recycling services to their residents in both curbside and collection programs. The Village of Cambridge has partnered with Eagle Enterprises in Galva to provide door-side collection of electronics. This program is funded by a small fee assessed on the water bill.
Ms. Berkley also reported that Bi-State assisted the City of West Liberty with an application to the IA DNR and will be receiving an $800,000 funding packet to implement a curbside recycling program.