The success of a City of Le Mars program to help citizens recycle will be showcased for other Iowa cities.
Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff announced the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is marketing the city as the No.1 model for recycling success.
Kirchoff said he was asked to contribute information about the city's recycling program for a DNR color brochure on the Solid Waste Alternatives Program (SWAP).
SWAP offers financial help to develop and implement recycling and solid waste management projects, according to the DNR.
The city has received three $20,000 forgivable loans through SWAP, according to Le Mars Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole.
Reports to the city council indicate the money has been used to help pay for the cost of buying blue tote recycling containers and to promote recycling in cooperation with Van's Sanitation and Recycling, of Le Mars, and the Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency.
Kirchoff wrote about an increase in recycling as part of his information for the DNR SWAP publication.
"Since partnering with the Iowa DNR and SWAP, the city has gone from recycling 90 tons of solid waste in 2006 to recycling 407 tons in 2010," Kirchoff wrote.
The mayor also stated citizens are more aware of what can be recycled, how recycling can save them money, and how recycling benefits the environment and the community.
Kirchoff told the city council this week the SWAP program division staff is trying to encourage more cities to recycle and is using Le Mars as the model in the effort.
The mayor also commended citizens for their shift from throwing away to recycling.
"On behalf of the city council, I just want to thank everyone in Le Mars for the great job you're doing in recycling," Kirchoff said. "It's definitely been a great asset."
The city expects to close the books on the SWAP forgivable loan programs later this year.
Cole said two of the loans for $20,000 each have already been forgiven.
The final $20,000 loan requires one more quarterly report to be filed in October of this year.
Quarterly reports cover what has happened with the program in the quarter and, at the end of the contract, a summary report covering the history of the program as well as successes and failures is submitted, Cole said.
The most recent recycling volume report indicated citizens kept 418 tons out of the landfill by recycling during the first seven months of this year.
The latest city information indicates the 2010 recycling effort is surpassed.
The city council mandated recycling by rotating recycling and trash collection every other week as of January 1. Prior to that, trash was picked up weekly.
Citizens may request a free recycling tote by calling the city at 546-7018 Monday through Friday.
A free schedule of the recycling and garbage collection dates is also available at city hall, 40 Central Ave. S.E., Le Mars, and online at www.lemarsiowa.com.
A list of items which may be recycled is also on the website.