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A feature on a Closed Loop Partners investment

Creating a Campaign and Improving Infrastructure

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With financing from the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund, the Waste Commission of Scott County will increase participation and diversion with a new single-stream collection program for 48,500 households and an upgraded MRF, with more than double capacity to serve the Quad Cities region.

When the Scott Area Recycling Center’s aging recycling equipment needed to be replaced, the Waste Commission of Scott County and its intergovernmental partners, the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf, pursued the change from dual- to single-stream recycling. The change allows for the preservation of space at the Commission’s Scott Area Landfill, saves natural resources and allows for safer and more efficient collection by member cities’ public works departments. The Commission and its partners invested in larger capacity carts for curbside recycling, a redesigned single-stream MRF, and an extensive education campaign to increase diversion and participation in recycling.

Waste Commission of Scott County is a 28E, inter-governmental agency that was established in 1972 and reorganized in 1990. Our members include 17 communities and Scott County.

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Impact Highlights

88,000 tons of recyclables diverted by 2025

$2.5M economic benefit to municipalities

248,000 metrics tons of CO2 emissions avoided by 2025

The Results

In its first months of operations in 2016, the upgraded MRF has seen a 61% increase in volumes over the same months last year. Davenport has seen a 77% increase in recycling volumes. Bettendorf, which previously had dual-stream carts, has seen a 36% increase. This is a model of how mid-sized communities can finance the deployment of a comprehensive recycling program that is profitable for the participating communities.

As more municipalities consider privatizing recycling operations, Scott County is a model for how public management can succeed.

What to look for:

  • Committed and aligned public officials: The Scott County Board of Supervisors and Bettendorf and Davenport city leaders were instrumental in guiding the Commission’s transition to single-stream recycling, and supporting the bond measure for this project;
  • Vertically integrated operations: The Commission manages sortation, as well as markets its commodities throughout the area. It also coordinates closely with intergovernmental partners, who manage collections;
  • Solutions for a wide range of accepted materials: The Commission operates programs for household hazardous waste, e-waste, and appliances, in addition to the recycling center and landfill, which means cross-contamination has a greater chance of being handled appropriately;
  • Sufficient volumes in the County with additional regional opportunities: With the upgraded MRF, the Commission is well-positioned to support the recycling needs of not only all residents of the County, but also those of the greater Quad Cities region and western Illinois.

Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund’s loan was a godsend. [The cities of] Davenport and Bettendorf, and the Waste Commission [of Scott County] had been talking about moving to single-stream for 10 years. As budgets were tightening, it wouldn’t have been possible to do this project without the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund’s help.

Todd Jones, Superintendent of Services, City of Davenport, Iowa

For more information about Waste Commission of Scott County, please visit their website.

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