Waste Planning & Recycling

The Financial and Business Assistance (FABA) team at the DNR is committed to helping Iowa’s environmental future in ways that positively impact our economy and society. The team is equipped to work with Iowa citizens, businesses and communities to provide financial and technical assistance resulting in cost-effective improvements, opportunities for increased productivity and positive environmental impacts. Working together, we can achieve a cleaner environment and stronger economy through sustainable use of natural resources and effective waste management and pollution prevention activities.

FABA Factsheet

DNR Contact
Jennifer Wright

1 Explore the programs offered by FABA

Comprehensive Planning - Every five years each Planning Area must undergo a Plan Update process requiring evaluation of progress towards goals with input from stakeholders. DNR collaborates with Planning Areas to review Plan Updates to ensure that each meets code requirements.

Derelict Building Program - This program was established to provide small Iowa communities and rural counties financial assistance to address neglected structures in order to improve the appearance of their streets and revitalize local economies.

Household Hazardous Materials - The Household Hazardous Materials (HHM) program offers a variety of guidance and information on the proper management, use and disposal of HHMs to protect public health and safety and the environment.

Iowa Waste Exchange - The Iowa Waste Exchange (IWE) is a no-cost, non-regulatory service matching clients that have byproduct materials with other groups interested in using or recycling those materials. IWE representatives coordinate the confidential exchanges.

Pollution Prevention Services - Companies can save money, increase profits, operate more efficiently and improve the environment through Pollution Prevention (P2) Services. P2 Services provides confidential, non-regulatory technical assistance at no cost to Iowa businesses and industries.

Pollution Prevention Intern Program - A nationally recognized program that matches Iowa college students with companies to identify P2 strategies.

Solid Waste Alternatives Program - Through a competitive process any unit of local government, public or private group or individual is eligible to apply for Solid Waste Alternatives Program (SWAP) assistance to fund a variety of projects including source reduction, recycling and education.

Solid Waste Environmental Management System (EMS) - Now Iowa has an alternative voluntary program for solid waste planning areas and permitted facility service areas called the Iowa Solid Waste Environmental Management System (EMS) program. EMS encourages responsible environmental management while promoting environmental stewardship and continuous improvement. Iowa's EMS program promotes six areas of emphasis, called Components.

Residential Recycling & Composting

Regulated Facilities - State and federal environmental regulation and compliance assistance for permitted facilities.

3 Food Waste
  • ICI Food Waste Study
  • Iowa Food Waste Stakeholder Group: The Iowa Food Waste Stakeholder Group is a collaborative effort of individuals and organizations from varying parts of the food system The group determined a white paper should be developed to increase public awareness and promote discussion on food waste in Iowa. The white paper uses the US Environmental Protection Agency Food Recovery Hierarchy as a guide towards explaining where Iowa stands now and how to move our state to become a leader in food waste reduction and diversion efforts.
  • Iowa Schools Food Waste Minimization Toolkit

Food Storage Capacity Project Awards

The DNR received, reviewed and awarded 35 grants totaling $204,034.94 to eligible applicants across the State of Iowa. Funding was limited to the purchase of Energy Star refrigerators, Energy Star freezers and shelving. These eligible items make it possible to accept additional food donations and to properly store additional perishable and non-perishable food items for longer periods. The increase in food storage capacity allows for well-rounded, nutritious meals for a greater number of Iowans.

Prior to witnessing the impacts of COVID-19, statistics show that 1 out of every 10 Iowans, or more, experience food insecurity. The definition of food insecurity as used by the Food Bank of Iowa: food insecurity is the lack of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. According to Feeding America, food insecurity rates are anticipated to increase across the country and project an overall 15% increase of food insecurity of Iowans. For Iowa children, the increase of food insecurity is expected to increase to 24% to 26%.

Food insecurity could be sporadic and related to employment, unexpected bills, car repairs, health care costs, etc. Food insecurity can also be on-ongoing for many persons such as the elderly, and persons with disabilities and for persons on a fixed income. Individual food pantries may need to limit the amount of food a person may receive or the frequency in which food may be obtained. Food storage capacity expansion addresses these limitations as well as reducing the amount of edible food being landfilled.

Food Storage Capacity Project Award Summaries

Food Storage Capacity Grant Opportunity

The DNR is offering the Food Storage Capacity Grant Opportunity to help address food waste, an issue that negatively impacts environmental, economic and social sustainability in Iowa and across the country.

This grant opportunity is designed to expand storage and cold storage of recovered food items. Food banks, food pantries and other non-profit organizations receiving food for distribution to food insecure Iowans are eligible to apply.

Food Storage Capacity Grant Application

Additional Resources:

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