Iowa City’s New Green Recycling Center

Iowa City’s new East Side Recycling Center will be a green building to behold. The new building, scheduled to open later this year, is being built with sustainable and energy- efficient designs that will make it a one-stop green hub for the city.

The new building will help meet the city’s recycling needs in many ways. It will feature drop-off areas for many items that are normally hard to dispose of and recycle. Oil and electronics will have special areas just for them, and there will be a compost area for wood chips and other compostable items. The new recycling center will also feature salvage shops for building materials and furniture.

More than just allowing areas for people to dispose and recycle items, the recycling center will also feature a public meeting facility for local groups and city staff. This room will be able to host programs, classes and workshops for people to learn more about recycling and sustainable ideas. When completed, officials hope this new building will both educate and encourage the citizens to get more involved in recycling and being more earth-friendly.

But more than just what the recycling center has to offer, it is also a marvel because of how it is being built. Officials are planning to make the recycling center as green as possible by using an assortment of energy saving practices and designs. The building will have geothermal heating and cooling, a wind turbine to generate power and biocells to treat the storm-water runoff.

The East Side Recycling Center is being built with sustainability in mind. Along side using eco-friendly energy saving tools, the new recycling center will also host rain gardens and bioswales to improve the area’s greenery. The flat room is being built to host plants growing on top that will serve to increase the area’s vegetation.

The complex will also include a new Habitat for Humanity ReStore, an outlet store that sells new and used building materials at a discounted price. A Furniture Project is set to be included, a city program run through the ReStore that diverts items from the landfill.

Residents can drop off and buy recycled items to improve their homes in many ways. A Friends of Historic Preservation’s Salvage Barn is being built as well from recycled materials. The barn sells architectural and historical building materials that are at least 50 years old for homeowners whop want to furnish and maintain historic homes. This will be a boon to people looking for antique counter tops and reclaimed wooden floors rather than new materials.

All in all, the complex will cost 3.8 million dollars. The total cost is being funded through landfill revenue rather than tax dollars to help keep residents excited about the project.

Photo credit: Press-Citizen-Matthew Holst