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businesses comes in many forms. Whether it is excess goods or items sitting in
storage, the Iowa Waste Exchange is here to help! An importer/wholesaler company in Dubuque
identified items too good to landfill, and stored them in search of the perfect
opportunity for others to use. That
opportunity came in the form of Area 3 resource specialist, Tammy Turner who
has placed many of the stored items with organizations, non-profits,
individuals and businesses throughout her service area and beyond.
As the Deputy Director for Metro Waste Authority
(MWA), Leslie Irlbeck drives strategic initiatives outlined as key priorities
by Metro’s Board of Directors. Two of those priorities include
environmental stewardship and responsible waste management. Which is why, when
faced with an opportunity to exercise both, Leslie reached out to Iowa Waste
Exchange (IWE) Area Resource Specialist, Shelene Codner.
MWA had been
contacted by a generator, who - due to unavoidable circumstances - had
1,600,000 compostable straws and 256,000 compostable forks. The straws and
forks were new, in their original boxes and delivered on pallets to MWA’s
Materials Recovery Facility in Grimes, Iowa. In accordance with the waste
management hierarchy – reduce, reuse, recycle - Irlbeck knew these materials
would prove valuable to many. Irlbeck – with the generator’s blessing –
contacted Codner in September 2023.
Codner with the assistance of Michael McCoy, MWA
Executive Director and Dan Haag, MWA Recycling Administrator performed an
onsite inventory. Immediately following this onsite, Codner reached out to her
networks. She then scheduled - and with the assistance of MWA staff - manned an
onsite pick-up day on September 19, 2023 for those interested in obtaining the
materials. With the assistance of one of her client recycling companies,
pallets that remained following the pick-up event were moved to warehouse space
donated to IWE in Des Moines where distribution for those that could not attend
the pickup event continued throughout September, October and November. While
the bulk of the materials have been spoken for, warehousing and distribution
will continue throughout spring 2024 on behalf of committed non-profits who
have huge hearts but not huge storage areas.
Thus far, 20,000 pounds of forks and straws have
been matched to over 30 organizations, including businesses, schools,
universities, non-profits, cities, fire stations, emergency management
organizations, missions, 4-H clubs, churches, conservation groups, libraries
and special fund-raising events. This exchange has saved the receiving
organizations nearly $55,000 in avoided purchases.
For more information about Metro Waste Authority
additional information about the Iowa Waste Exchange visit
or contact Shelene Codner, firstname.lastname@example.org,