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Ceramic Jars put to Good Uses

Ceramic Jars

Dog with its treat jar

Ames Animal Shelter staff

Ceramic Jars put to Good Uses by Tammy Turner, Area 3

Surplus from 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.

The inventory of stored items included 150 white ceramic containers with lids. These containers have been matched and are now being put into service by multiple organizations including but not limited to the Freestore, Ames Animal Shelter and Angels Serving Iowa.

The Freestore assists those transitioning from homelessness and/or domestic abuse situations by providing the necessary household items needed to set up housekeeping.

The Ames Animal Shelter is converting these containers into pet treat containers. These will be given to pet parents upon adoption of their new best friends.

Volunteers with Angels Serving Iowa are converting the containers into cookie jars. These will be used for their holiday “Christmas Cookie Connections” program where they will distribute cookies to those transitioning to permanent housing. The goals of this program are to make connections through the cookies while also giving people a hand up by providing employment and other resources at the time of distribution.

Additionally, the Iowa Waste Exchange converted three of these containers into a cat treat jar, a puppy treat jar and a cookie jar which – alongside other donations – were given away at the 2023 Annual Recycling and Waste Management Conference held in Waterloo, Iowa.

The ceramic jars yielded a landfill diversion of 250 pounds with a cost savings, through avoided purchases, of $3,000. 

For additional information regarding the Iowa Waste Exchange visit

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