Communication Tips > 

Market disruptions have caused difficulties in the recycling industry. Alec Cooley, Senior Advisor at Busch Systems, provides two sets of talking points: one for elected officials and decision-makers, the other for the general public.

Press Release >

Monica Boehringer from the Virginia Recycling Association wrote an effective communication piece about the state of recycling. We’ve tweaked it with Iowa information and have received permission from Monica to share. Use as-is, or borrow ideas and language to customize a press release for your community.


Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging and Paper Products: Policies, Practices, and Performance

This March 2020 report from the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) provides guidance for stabilizing and modernizing fragmented U.S. municipal recycling systems that have strained under the weight of major market disruptions.

Iowa Sustainable Materials Management Vision for Iowa Think-Tank Report

This report summarizes the visioning session held in West Des Moines on May 14, 2019. Approximately 30 Iowa stakeholders participated in the Think-Tank and developed the scenarios presented in this report.

EPA: Advancing Sustainable Materials Management (SMM): Facts and Figures Reports

Fact sheets and data tables (most recently updated in November 2019) include information on municipal solid waste generation, recycling, composting, combustion with energy recovery and landfilling.

EPA: Advancing Sustainable Materials Management (SMM): Facts and Figures

U.S. state and local waste and materials characterization reports as well as key, SMM facts and figures.

Closing the Material Loop >

Closing the Material Loop features over 15 case studies contributed by corporate, non-profit and public sector leaders who understand the economic and environmental imperative to utilizing waste.

Food Waste in Iowa >

Report provides recommendations to position Iowa as a leader in reduction and recovery from the Iowa Food Waste Stakeholder Group.

2017 Iowa Statewide Waste Characterization Study >

The Iowa DNR’s most recent collection of data tracking waste disposal trends in the state. The information helps the DNR and local governments make decisions to expand waste diversion initiatives and improve program efficiencies.

Plastics:  Can Life Cycle Assessment Rise to the Challenge? >

This paper explores how life cycle assessment (LCA) – the de facto tool used across the world for assessing the environmental impacts of products and processes—is used today to influence policy decision making particularly in regards to single use plastic products.


Plastic Bag Social Media Graphics >

Plastic bags are often cited by recycling facilities as one of the worst and most prevelant contaminates found in recycling.  To help educate the public about plastic bag contamination, the Iowa Recycling Association developed a social media graphic toolkit focused on reducing and reusing plastic bags.

Thanksgiving Waste Reduction Social Media Graphics >

During holiday times, households tend to produce more trash than normal with big meals, decorations, and festivities. Waste reduction tips and graphics have been provided for educational purposes. The graphics are in PDF and PNG file types and include two versions: one with the IRA logo and one without. Use these resources to educate your customers, communities, or networks on waste reduction this Thanksgiving season.  

Recycled Content (ReCon) Tool >

The EPA’s ReCon tool helps companies and individuals estimate environmental impacts from purchasing and/or manufacturing materials with varying degrees of post-consumer recycled content.

Anti-contamination Recycling Kit >

Toolkit includes guidance to discuss this topic with your MRF and hauler, visuals for targeted messages, tools to track and report results and much more.

Acceptable Materials Worksheet >

Use this document to identify and address acceptable and problematic materials, inform front line staff and create materials to educate residents.


WARM Versions >

New and updated information requires updates to the energy and emission factors used in the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) and the inclusion of economic factors. The purpose of this webpage is to explain the changes incorporated into each version.

Municipal Measurement Program >

This program assessment and planning tool delivers insights and actionable recommendations to municipal waste management agencies.


7 Principles for Building Teamwork in Recycling Plants >

April 2020
Waste Advantage Magazine outlines principles for building teamwork in your recycling plant — simple steps that encourage everyone on the team to be engaged, effective and productive.

From Bin to Market: Fixing the Recycling System >

July 2019
This blog post from the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) pulls together a number of resources and provides information about numerous initiatives aimed at making recycling work.

Upgrading Your MRF >

July 2019
In this Waste Advantage Magazine article, Jeff Eriks outlines factors to consider when determining if your MRF requires an upgrades. Eriks is a Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Cambridge Companies (Griffith, IN), a design-build firm, working with the waste industry.

Putting it All in Perspective >

June 2019
Resource Recycling takes a look at the state of recycling markets and the role programs and business can play in a new recycling model.