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[greenyes] Groups Oppose Iowa Recycling Law Repeal
For Immediate Release 

ENVIRONMENTALISTS OPPOSE ATTEMPT 
TO REPEAL KEY RECYCLING LAW IN IOWA

(WASHINGTON, DC)  Eight leading national, 
state and local recycling and environmental 
organizations today opposed legislation 
awaiting Iowa Governor Vilsack's signature 
to amend the current Iowa law banning the 
disposal of yard trimmings so that grass and 
leaves can be landfilled at the Des Moines 
landfill instead of being composted. The 
organizations are the GrassRoots Recycling 
Network, the U.S. Composting Council, the 
Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends 
of the Earth, the Institute for Local Self 
Reliance, Eco-Cycle, Eureka Recycling, the 
Ecology Center and Filtrexx International.

"This legislation repeats an attempt 
made last year in Illinois. If enacted in 
Iowa, the bill would constitute the first 
frontal assault on one of the more 
successful pillars of America's recycling 
policy," said Bill Sheehan, co-director of 
the Athens, GA-based GrassRoots Recycling 
Network.  "The proposal would overturn 
source separation programs for composting 
yard trimmings and a Iowa ban on yard 
trimmings in landfills.  Yard trimming 
programs have also been enacted in at least 
21 other states," he said.

"The Coalition to Oppose Attacks on 
Recycling in America is countering Des 
Moines' attempt to amend the current Iowa 
law banning the disposal of yard trimmings 
so that the City can save the cost of 
separate collection of yard debris," said 
Friends of the Earth's Erich Pica.  He 
stated that five times as much can be saved 
by continuing the ban but simply eliminating 
curbside collection of grass clippings. 
Instead, encourage homeowners to leave the 
clippings on their lawn as a soil amendment, 
he said.

Such a reversal would "undermine one 
of the most important elements of America's 
recycling efforts," according to Allen 
Hershkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense 
Council. "Iowa's yard waste ban has been a 
huge success in reducing the need for 
additional landfills and promoting 
successful composting of yard trimmings, and 
it should be maintained," according to 
Hershkowitz.

"Bans on disposal of yard trimmings in 
landfills have made it possible to 
essentially double the overall diversion 
rate and are absolutely vital to achieving 
America's recycling goals, which is why 21 
other states have also enacted laws banning 
disposal of yard trimmings," noted Neil 
Seldman from the Institute for Local Self-
Reliance. 

"Repealing those bans would undermine 
the American composting industry," said Jim 
McNelly from the U.S. Composting Council.

For all of those reasons, the 
Coalition believes that the proposal would 
dramatically undermine the Nation's 
recycling and composting efforts, and be a 
threat to the environment, concluded Eric 
Lombardi from Eco-Cycle, Michael Garfield 
from Ecology Center and Susan Hubbard from 
the St. Paul Neighborhood Center, who run 
the nation's leading non-profit recycling 
operations.

In a letter to Governor Thomas J. 
Vilsack, the organizations urged the Board 
to veto the proposal, said Rod Tyler of the 
Filtrexx International.

A technical discussion of the issue is 
posted at www.GRRN.org/landfill/yardtrimmings/ 

Contact Peter Anderson  608-231-1100
anderson@no.address 
For more information from the participating 
organizations, contact:

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Natural Resources Defense Council  
   (Allen Hershkowitz,  212-727-4455)
Friends of the Earth  
   (Erich Pica, 202-783-7400 ext. 229)
GrassRoots Recycling Network  
   (Bill Sheehan, 706-613-7121)
U.S. Composting Council  
   (Jim McNelly, 320-492-5076)
Institute for Local Self-Reliance 
   (Neil Seldman, 202-232-4108)

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS
Eco-Cycle, Boulder CO 
   (Eric Lombardi, 303-444-6634)
Ecology Center, Ann Arbor MI  
   (Michael Garfield, 734-761-3599)
Eureka Recycling, St. Paul MN  
   (Susan Hubbard, 651-221-4462)
Filtrexx International, Des Moines IA  
   (Rod Tyler, 440-926-8041)

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