The Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center (3900 Hebl Avenue SW, Iowa City) serves Johnson County, Kalona and Riverside, and is used by both residential and commercial haulers. The landfill cannot accept materials from outside of this service area.

Each year, the landfill takes in about 135,000 tons of trash. Trash is landfilled according to stringent federal and state regulations to ensure that environmental protection is in place. The landfill has been at its current location since 1971. In total, the landfill is about 400 acres in area, about half which contains buried trash. Remaining land is used for wetlands and as a buffer for surrounding properties.

On this page, find information on residential and commercial waste hauling, compost and wood chips pickup, and educational opportunities.

Important Updates: 

  • Compost is available. 
  • On windy days, the landfill may close early to prevent and contain blowing litter. Please check this page or call 319-356-5185 to find out if the landfill is closing early. 
  • On busy days (Monday, Friday afternoon, and Saturday), you may have to wait in line. We appreciate your patience, and we look forward to serving you. 
  • The landfill office is not open to the public.
  • Vehicles with trailer loads of garbage are expected to go down into the landfill to unload. Please plan accordingly.
  • Your load must be covered/secured.  After one no-charge warning, there is a $50 fine per trip for unsecured loads.  
  • Any loads with burned material, including burn barrels, must have been fully extinguished for at least 30 days in order to dispose of the material.  
  • If you have garbage, you must stop at the scalehouse window (lane 2). There is a fee for all garbage and most recycling.  
  • Yard waste is banned in Iowa landfills.  Mixed garbage and yard waste loads will be turned away. 
LANDFILL BANS

These items are not allowed to be landfilled, and must be properly recycled and handled through programs offered at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center:

  • Yard waste, Cardboard, Computer and TV monitors, Tires, Appliances, Lead-acid batteries, Oil
RESIDENTIAL GARBAGE, RECYCLING, COMPOSTING AND HAZARDOUS MATERIAL

When you visit the landfill, separate garbage from appliances, electronics, composting and recycling. Be sure to secure loads so that items do not blow out. Vehicles with unsecured loads will receive one warning without charge. Each subsequent violation is a $50 fee.

Use lane 2 at the landfill, pull up to the scalehouse window (in the silver silo), and let the scale master know what materials you have.

The landfill accepts cash, checks, and credit cards (Mastercard, Visa and Discover).

Garbage 

Disposal fees: 

  • Regular garbage:
    • Iowa City residents: $14 for any garbage load less than 600 pounds; approximately 50 cents for each additional 20 pounds over 600 pounds. Charge per ton is $50.
    • Non-Iowa City residents (Johnson County, Kalona, and Riverside only): $15 for any garbage load less than 600 pounds; approximately 50 cents for each additional 20 pounds over 600 pounds. Charge per ton is $50.
  • Special wastes: Iowa City – $90/ton (minimum charge); non-Iowa City – $100/ton (minimum charge). This includes but is not limited to loads of railroad ties, telephone poles, and tree root balls. Other items may be charged as special waste if special handling is required.
  • Asbestos: friable – $105/cubic yard; non-friable – $105/ton (Note: 24-hour notice is required. Call 319-356-5151.)
  • Contaminated soil: $50/ton (3-ton minimum)

Do not place these items in the garbage: 

Recycling

Visit the Recycling page for other recycling locations.

Recycle these items at no cost: 

  • Cardboard: flatten before recycling 
  • Paper: newspapers, magazines, office paper, junk mail, paperboard, telephone books, paperback books, waxy cartons and aseptic packaging
  • Glass: clear, brown, green
  • Plastics: bottles and jugs
  • Metal: metal cans, aluminum pie pans, aluminum foil (in 2-inch ball)
  • Scrap metal: iron, steel, aluminum, brass, copper
  • Holiday light strands: accepted in electronic recycling (other recycling locations)
  • Bicycles
  • CFL and LED light bulbs (other recycling locations)
  • Oil: motor and vegetable (also available at the East Side Recycling Center)
    • Bring liquid in sealed, labeled plastic bottles (must be less than 5-gallon size) with secure lids, and leave in the Oil Recycling Shed.
  • Motor oil filters: leave in the Oil Recycling Shed

Recycle these items for a fee: 

  • Appliances: $12.50 per appliance; $1 per cubic foot for large commercial appliances; appliances are banned from the landfill.
    • Examples of accepted items: microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, dryers, dehumidifiers and lawn mowers
  • Propane or helium tanks: $1 per tank (residential-sized tanks only) via appliance recycling
  • Electronics: Pay at the Scalehouse and you will be directed to the self-service electronic recycling area; television and computer monitors are banned from the landfill.
    • $15 per computer system or TV (fee includes computer components)
    • $3 per miscellaneous electronic item, such as printers, CPUs, VCRs, electronic items that do not have a CRT screen/monitor
    • $3 per small appliance, such as grills, vacuum cleaners, alarm clocks, toasters, blenders, coffee pots
    • $1 per helium or propane tank
  • Roofing shingles: $30/ton; must be clean loads; no other debris allowed
    • In conjunction with LL Pelling, the landfill recycles shingles for use in asphalt paving. Loads of shingles for recycling must be clean; no trash can be mixed in with the shingles. Any loads containing trash will be charged the regular trash fee. Ask your roofer or contractor to recycle shingles at the landfill.
  • Tires: $0.15/pound ($3 minimum); tires are banned from the landfill

Composting

Visit the Composting page for other composting options. Follow these guidelines on accepted items to prevent composting contamination. 

Compost these items at no cost:

  • Food waste (such as coffee grounds, eggshells, bread and grain products, meat and bones, seafood and shells, non-liquid dairy products, fruits and vegetables) 
  • Natural wood that has not been painted, treated, or stained (such as natural pallets)
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Garden residue
  • Woody yard waste
  • Invasive species (such as garlic mustard)
  • Coffee filters
  • Compostable items, such as plates and cups, that are certified ASTM D6400 or labeled “certified compostable”
  • Hair (natural only)
  • Uncoated paper products (such as paper plates or cups)
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Pizza boxes and paper clamshell containers
  • Shredded paper and newspaper 
  • Holiday trees (natural, unflocked trees only; remove all decorations)
  • Pumpkins and gourds (remove any candles or lights from inside your pumpkins)

Do not compost these items:

  • Sod
  • Dirt
  • Rocks
  • Sand
  • Particle board
  • Tree root balls
  • Large stumps
  • Infected plant material (such as black knot fungus)
  • Plant pots (such as terra cotta or plastic)
  • Garden netting and liners
  • Painted, treated, or stained wood
  • Dead animals or carcasses
  • Animal waste 
  • Liquids
  • Cigarette butts and ashes
  • Plastic bags, film, or wrappers (such as soil or mulch bags)
  • Foil- or plastic-coated paper plates, bowls, or cups
  • Glass, metal, Styrofoam
  • Hazardous material 

Hazardous Material

Visit the Hazardous Material page for more information.

No cost to residents. The Hazardous Material Collection Facility is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bring these items: 

  • Cleaning products: abrasive cleaner, aerosols, carpet cleaner, disinfectant, drain cleaner, dry cleaning solution, fabric softener, floor care product, furniture polish, glass cleaner, grout/tile cleaner, metal polish, mildew remover, oven cleaner, multi-purpose cleaner, soap scum remover, stain remover, toilet bowl cleaner
  • Garage/workshop products: adhesive/glue, antifreeze, battery acid, brake fluid, engine degreaser, gasoline/oil, kerosene, lighter fluid, oil-based paint (20-gal limit), paint thinner, resin, solvent, stain, stripper, transmission fluid, varnish
  • Lawn/outdoor products: bug spray, fertilizer, fogger, fungicide, insecticide, insect repellent, pesticides, pool chemicals, rodent killer, weed killer
  • Batteries: alkaline, auto, cell phone, computer, hearing aid, lithium, lithium-ion, nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd), rechargeable, sealed lead-acid
  • Sharps and syringes: not accepted unless contained in a rigid plastic or metal container with a lid 
  • Other: hair remover, medications (non-controlled substances only), mercury thermostat, moth balls, nail polish/remover, photo chemicals, shoe polish, thermometer 

Do not bring these items: 

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Smoke detectors: place in regular garbage
  • Electronic thermostats: recycle via electronic recycling
  • Ammunition and explosives
  • Radioactive materials
  • Infectious medical waste
  • Propane:
  • Helium tanks: recycle for $1 per tank (residential-sized tanks only) via appliance recycling at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center
  • Controlled substance medications:
    • Several drop-off locations are available around Johnson County to properly dispose of controlled substances and other types of medication. For an updated list of locations, use the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) search tool
    •  DEA collection events are held in Iowa City twice per year (usually spring and fall) for residents to safely dispose of unused or expired medications.
OTHER DROP-OFF RECYCLING LOCATIONS
  • South Riverside Recycling Center, 1200 South Riverside Drive
    • Visit the Recycling page for a complete list of accepted items at this location. 
  • East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd. SE
  • Light bulbs: Visit the Hazardous Material page for a complete list of locations.
  • Batteries: Visit the Hazardous Material page for a complete list of locations.
  • Glass: Visit the Recycling page for a complete list of locations. 
COMMERCIAL HAULING

Service area businesses can bring materials to the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center and will incur the following fees.

Garbage

  • Regular garbage (Iowa City): $45/ton
  • Regular garbage (non-Iowa City; Johnson County, Kalona, and Riverside only): $50/ton
  • Special wastes: Iowa City – $90/ton (minimum charge); non-Iowa City – $100/ton (minimum charge). This includes but is not limited to loads of railroad ties, telephone poles, and tree root balls. Other items may be charged as special waste if special handling is required.
  • Asbestos: friable – $105/cubic yard; non-friable – $105/ton (Note: 24-hour notice is required. Call 319-356-5151.)
  • Contaminated soil: $50/ton (3-ton minimum)

Do not place these items in the garbage: 


Recycling

Visit the Recycling page for other recycling locations. 

  • Appliances: $12.50 per appliance; $1 per cubic foot for large commercial appliances; appliances are banned from the landfill.
    • Examples of accepted items: microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, dryers, dehumidifiers and lawn mowers
  • Electronics: Pay at the Scalehouse and you will be directed to the self-service electronic recycling area; television and computer monitors are banned from the landfill.
    • $15 per computer system or TV (fee includes computer components)
    • $3 per miscellaneous electronic item, such as printers, CPUs, VCRs, electronic items that do not have a CRT screen/monitor
    • $3 per small appliance, such as grills, vacuum cleaners, alarm clocks, toasters, blenders, coffee pots
    • $1 per helium or propane tank
  • Roofing shingles: $30/ton (must be clean loads – no other debris allowed)
    • In conjunction with LL Pelling, the landfill recycles shingles for use in asphalt paving. Loads of shingles for recycling must be clean; no trash can be mixed in with the shingles (any loads containing trash will be charged the regular trash fee).
  • Tires: $0.15/pound ($3 minimum); tires are banned from the landfill.
  • Light bulbs:
    • CFL or LED bulbs: 54 cents each
    • Tubes 4-foot and under: 54 cents each
    • Tubes 4-foot and over: 72 cents each
    • Light fixtures with PBCs: $3 each

Composting (Food and Yard Waste)

Follow these guidelines on accepted items to prevent composting contamination. 

Compost these items at $24/ton:

  • Food waste (such as coffee grounds, eggshells, bread and grain products, meat and bones, seafood and shells, non-liquid dairy products, fruits and vegetables) 
  • Natural wood that has not been painted, treated, or stained (such as natural pallets)
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Garden residue
  • Woody yard waste
  • Invasive species (such as garlic mustard)
  • Coffee filters
  • Compostable items, such as plates and cups, that are certified ASTM D6400 or labeled “certified compostable”
  • Hair (natural only)
  • Uncoated paper products (such as paper plates or cups)
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Pizza boxes and paper clamshell containers
  • Shredded paper and newspaper 
  • Holiday trees (natural, unflocked trees only; remove all decorations)
  • Pumpkins and gourds (remove any candles or lights from inside your pumpkins)

Do not compost these items:

  • Sod
  • Dirt
  • Rocks
  • Sand
  • Particle board
  • Tree root balls (charged as special waste at $90/ton (Iowa City) and $100/ton (non-Iowa City))
  • Large stumps (charged as special waste at $90/ton (Iowa City) and $100/ton (non-Iowa City))
  • Infected plant material (such as black knot fungus)
  • Plant pots (such as terra cotta or plastic)
  • Garden netting and liners
  • Painted, treated, or stained wood
  • Dead animals or carcasses
  • Animal waste 
  • Liquids
  • Cigarette butts and ashes
  • Plastic bags, film, or wrappers (such as soil or mulch bags)
  • Foil- or plastic-coated paper plates, bowls, or cups
  • Glass, metal, Styrofoam
  • Hazardous material 

Hazardous Material

Visit the Hazardous Material page for more information. 

If your business generates hazardous material, you may be eligible for the Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) program, which allows businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of hazardous material per month, and store less than 1,000 pounds, to safely dispose of hazardous material.

To participate in the program:

  • Complete a VSQG Business Packet
  • Schedule an appointment before bringing a load. Call the Iowa City Landfill at 319-887-6160 to schedule an appointment, or to learn more about our hazardous material disposal services.

COMPOST AND WOOD CHIPS

Compost

Iowa City Community Compost, made from local yard and food waste, is sold in large or small quantities. When available, the compost costs $20 per ton with a $2 minimum. Landfill staff can load your truck or trailer with an endloader. For smaller amounts, bring a container and a shovel to self-load.

Wood Chips

The Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center has coarse-ground wood chip mulch available at no cost. Landfill staff can load your truck or trailer, including semi trailers. For small quantities, bring your own container and a pitchfork or shovel to self-load.


Small batches of compost and wood chips are also available at the East Side Recycling Center (2401 Scott Blvd. SE, Iowa City) during spring, summer, and fall. This service is not available in winter. 

CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE

Construction and demolition waste results from remodeling, construction, and demolition projects. Some examples include roof shingles, concrete, lumber, and fiberglass insulation.

Over 23,000 tons of construction and demolition materials end up in the Iowa City Landfill every year. By recycling, composting, and reusing materials as much as possible, we can preserve landfill space, save natural resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Contact the Recycling Coordinator (email: jwilch@iowa-city.org; phone: 319-887-6110) for information on what you can do with common construction and demolition materials once you are done with them. While some materials need to be landfilled, many materials can be recycled, composted, or reused.

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center is designated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as an Environmental Management System (EMS). Being an EMS includes setting an Environmental Policy Statement, goals, and targets.

The EMS framework focuses on continuous improvement in six key areas set up by the Iowa State Legislature:

  • Environmental Education
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction
  • Household Hazardous Material
  • Recycling Services
  • Water Quality Improvement
  • Organics Waste Management
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND RESOURCES

In need of a speaker to talk about waste reduction or recycling? Staff are available to offer site tours and presentations.

Do you need translated guides or educational materials for a group or event? The Resource Management Division has a variety of outreach materials, and several digital and print-friendly documents translated into English, Spanish, French, and Arabic available at no cost. 

Contact the Recycling Coordinator for resources and more information at jwilch@iowa-city.org or at 319-887-6110. 

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