As I reflect back on 2012, I would describe this as a year of continuity and ongoing success for the Financial and Business Assistance (FABA) Section. Whether we were providing financial and technical assistance services through our existing programs or new ones, we worked to create public-private partnerships that have a positive impact to Iowa’s economy and environment. Below are just some of the accomplishments of 2012 which are detailed further in the bulletin:
- The Derelict Building Grant program was instituted by statute in 2011 and took full effect in 2012. It is designed to help rural communities with populations of 5,000 or less deconstruct or renovate abandoned commercial and public structures. The program emphasizes reuse and recycling of building items, helps improve street appearance and commercial development, and alleviates the environmental concern these buildings can pose. The initiation and implementation of this new financial grant program took place in 2012 and we had great success in our inaugural year. The DBGP funded 15 projects totaling $730,000 with cash matches totaling $561,000.
- Investing nearly $1.5 million dollars and leveraging over $ 2 million dollars of local share in Solid Waste Alternatives Program (SWAP) grants and loans to implement waste reduction, recycling, market development, and public education.
- The Iowa Waste Exchange and its representatives matched almost 56,000 tons of materials in 2012, and diverted these items from the landfill. In total, they saved Iowa companies over $1.5 million in disposal costs in 2012.
- Saving Iowa business and Industries $1,091,759 million dollars in implemented savings through the Pollution Prevention (P2) Intern program.
- Almost $600,000.00 in program investment to educate Iowans on Household Hazardous Materials (HHM) and to financially assist Regional Collection Centers (RCCs) in managing HHM wastes. Iowa RCCs experienced an increase in the amount of materials collected in FY 2012. Six million pounds of HHMs were removed from the solid waste stream for proper management: a 22 percent increase from FY 2011.
Looking forward to 2013, some new initiatives we will be evaluating and/or delivering are:
- A comprehensive Recycling and Resource Management Directory that is web enabled and lists recycling/collection operations, disposal facilities, reuse stores across the state, and mail back programs available to Iowans. We expect to launch the Directory in Spring of 2013.
- Exploring Opportunities to increase food waste diversion from Iowa landfills through a few different initiatives. The first is to partner with UNI-Iowa Waste Reduction Center to deliver workshops on Food Waste reduction that focuses on comprehensive food waste reduction and diversion resources for such food waste generators as community colleges, hospitals, schools, and retirement homes. Investigate and potentially fund other projects related to food waste diversion such as-Equipment used to manage food waste, food purchasing performance tracking software, and explore education opportunities to build knowledge among consumers about appropriate purchasing habits and disposal habits, including the validity of expiration dates.
I encourage you to read the rest of the “Year in Review” bulletin and see for yourself some of the investments that have been made all across Iowa. If you would like any further information on the programs or the stories reported in the bulletin, do not hesitate to contact me or one of the FABA team members. We are committed to continually improving our work, our programs and the environment.
Financial and Business Assistance Supervisor
Derelict Building Grant Program
Solid Waste Alternatives Program
Iowa Waste Exchange
Pollution Prevention Services
Household Hazardous Materials
Environmental Management Systems/Comprehensive Planning
Solid Waste/Recycling Initiatives
Our staff is here to provide the assistance you need to protect Iowa's environment and establish a strong economic future. Please contact us with any questions or feedback.