Site Source Separation

Indigo Dawn is partnering with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (Iowa DNR) through their Solid Waste Alternatives Program (SWAP) and also Metro Waste Authority’s (MWA) Growing Green Communities, a 501(c)3 organization, to properly sort and manage construction waste.

Recycling carts are lined up on the site

Recycling carts are lined up on the site of the Green & Main Pilot Project

SWAP works to reduce the amount of solid waste generated and landfilled in Iowa through target waste streams including process or supply waste, fiber projects, plastics project, organic waste and construction and demolition waste. The Green & Main Pilot Project is working with SWAP to effectively reduce its construction and demolition waste stream.

MWA’s Growing Green Communities works to transform the way we develop land, manage water and create connectivity within communities. They are dedicated to facilitating education and awareness of conservation design, watershed protection and residential environmental stewardship. Growing Green Communities believes the Green & Main Pilot Project allows businesses, individuals and governmental agencies to see a holistic approach to redevelopment in an existing neighborhood.

The pilot project, in conjunction with SWAP and MWA, will recycle or salvage for reuse at least 75% by weight of the waste generated on-site through proper site source separation. It is anticipated that most of the recycled or salvaged material will result from the deconstruction waste. Some portions of deconstruction waste are currently being reused on-site include plaster, wood framing and flooring.

Several factors affect the overall success of site source separation and construction waste management. These factors include education, signage, ongoing communication and evaluation and post-project assessment. All on-site workers for the pilot project have been trained in waste management. Clear signage will aid on-site workers in the handling and sorting of materials. To ensure ongoing communication and evaluation is met, a weekly site team meeting is being held to address areas for improvement. Lastly, post-project assessment will take place and be documented in a best practices manual.


– Sara Crouse is a writer and marketing strategist who lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

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