With the New Year comes a new rule –cardboard can no longer be landfilled and will need to instead be recycled.

The Iowa City Landfill will not accept cardboard in the trash beginning Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. It must be recycled either curbside, or taken to a local recycling facility.

Residents who place cardboard in their curbside garbage bin will have to instead place it in their recycling bin, and haulers that do not comply will be charged twice their regular tipping fee.

This new rule will divert millions of pounds of cardboard out of the landfill. While new 2017 waste study data showed a marked decrease in the amount of cardboard in the landfill since the previous study in 2011, more than 4,000 tons of cardboard still end up in the landfill annually.  

“Waste reduction is one of our biggest goals at the Iowa City Landfill,” Recycling Coordinator Jane Wilch said. “We want to really reduce the amount of resources going in to the landfill, and especially valuable material such as cardboard.”

Residents who receive City of Iowa City curbside services, should cut their cardboard into pieces no larger than 2 ft. by 2 ft., and place them in their blue recycling bins. Excess cardboard can be placed under the bin for pick-up.

If you live in an apartment greater than four units and do not currently have recycling, you’ll need to take your cardboard to an area recycling center. However, all apartments in Iowa City will be required to offer recycling by this time next year.

This change will impact more than just Iowa City residents – anyone served by the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center will need to follow this rule, including Johnson County, Riverside and Kalona residents.

The new rule applies specifically to corrugated cardboard, which is typically used in shipping and packaging materials, like boxes you receive when you order products online. 

Food-stained cardboard cannot be recycled, but it can be composted. If you receive curbside composting service, place it in your yard waste bin for collection. If composting is not an option, this type of cardboard will go in the trash.

To learn more, visit www.icgov.org/recycle or contact Recycling Coordinator Jane Wilch at 319-887-6110 or jane-wilch@iowa-city.org

A graphic communicates a new cardboard ban at the Iowa City Landfill.

Date of publication

Thursday, December 07, 2017