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23 Twenty Lincoln | Does Ames, IA recycle?

When students come to Iowa State, many are confused by the lack of recycling containers.

Ames has a different system for waste management than many towns, and since students aren't given separate containers for recycling, some question if Ames does any type of recycling at all. On the contrary, Ames has a 78% rate of recovering items and finding a way to reuse them. It's also all done locally.

Here's what happens to your trash after you toss it:

1.   People are able to put all of their trash into one garbage can. That includes plastic bottles, tin and aluminum cans, paper, etc.

2.   Private haulers then come and pick it up, where it's taken to the Resource Recovery Plant.

3.   If there's anything bulky in the trash such as carpet, chairs or sofas they are taken out of the mix and disposed of at the landfill.

4.   After the bulky items are taken out, the rest of the trash goes through a shredder.

5.   Magnets cover the walls and pull out ferrous metals like tin cans and steel. Ninety-nine percent of this is recovered and reused and taken to a scrap metal dealer.

6.   Then non-ferrous metals such as aluminum cans and brass are pulled out by a separate set of magnets. This has a 93 percent rate of recovery and reuse.

7.   Papers and plastic are sorted out at a recovery rate of 96 percent. Paper is taken to the Ames power plant to burn with the coal to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

The city of Ames Resource Recovery Plant is located at 110 Center Ave. 

Thanks for reading!