The City of Iowa City will begin collecting curbside compost on Monday, March 13, 2017.

The new program will help divert some of the roughly 18,000 tons of food waste that reaches the Iowa City Landfill each year. Residents will be able to compost many different types of foods, including fruits/vegetables, meats and grains, as well as paper products like pizza boxes, leftover containers and uncoated, disposable dishes.

Food waste will be collected curbside in the same containers and in the same trucks used for yard waste, and will be taken to the Iowa City Landfill’s Commercial Compost Facility.

How to Participate

Curbside composting is available to residents who currently receive City of Iowa City garbage, recycling and yard waste services. Residents must have an annual yard waste sticker and supply their own 35-gallon container that includes a lid.

Set your container out by 7 a.m. on your regular trash, recycling and yard waste collection day.  

Yard Waste Stickers 

The current orange yard waste stickers will be accepted until March 31, 2017.

New, purple yard waste stickers can be purchased for $12.50 and will be valid now through Dec. 29, 2017. Stickers can be purchased in-person at City Hall, by mail or by phone from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

  • In-person: Visit City Hall at 410. E. Washington Street
  • By phone: Call 319-356-5066 to pay by Visa or MasterCard
  • By mail: Mail orders to Cashier at City Hall and include the name, service address, mailing address and a $13 check to cover the postage and a handling fee for each sticker.  

Program Background

The City has been working towards reducing landfilled food waste for several years. The City set new waste minimization targets as part of its STAR sustainability ratings goal last year, and also participated in a pilot program through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 that allowed the City to test curbside food waste collection, and helped make the new composting program possible.

Additional Information

For information on how to compost, a full list of items that are safe/unsafe to compost, and other waste reduction tips visit It is important to reduce food waste first, and then compost.

Restaurants, grocers and other businesses with food service are encouraged to separate food waste for composting through their waste and recycling hauler. More information is available at

Those with questions about the new curbside composting program can contact City of Iowa City Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jordan at 319-887-6160 or

Date of publication

Wednesday, March 08, 2017