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Posted on: November 1, 2023

Solid Waste Agency Initiates Plan Development for New Compost Facility

This action follows recent changes in how the agency’s current facility at the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Landfill is permitted for operation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).The agency has been accepting residential food scraps, comingled with yard waste, for more than 12 years at the facility as a permit by rule facility from the IDNR.

 In January 2023, IDNR notified DMASWA of the need for a different permit application to continue composting commingled yard waste and food scraps.  Because the agency accepts more than two tons of commingled material per week, IDNR determined during the subsequent application process that the agency could no longer accept commingled yard waste and food scraps at its facility as it is currently operated/configured.

The only agency customer delivering comingled food scraps and yard waste to the facility is the City of Dubuque Public Works Department, which delivered approximately 104 tons of foods scraps comingled with yard waste in fiscal year 2023.

Following an evaluation of DMASWA’s composting site and the DMASWA’s decision to enter into an agreement with SCS Engineers of West Des Moines, Ia., the IDNR indicated they will utilize their enforcement discretion to allow the agency to continue to accept commingled materials until January 19, 2024.

“Upgrading the facility to a permitted composting site will allow the Agency to incrementally increase the capacity for food scraps based on other materials received,” said DMASWA Administrator Kenneth Miller. “This is an important tool in our landfill diversion efforts.”

Specifically, the DMASWA board entered into an agreement with SCS Engineers of West Des Moines, Ia., for:

  • Compost Site Design and Opinion of Probable Construction Cost
  • Bidding Phase Services
  • Construction Phase Services
  • Compost Siting Criteria Evaluation
  • Compost Permit Application Assistance

SCS has proposed a 60-day schedule for the project.

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Posted on: November 22, 2016