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Travelers recycle 38,000 pounds of cans and bottles at eight Iowa rest areas

AMES, Iowa – April 23, 2012 – Travelers stopping at eight central Iowa interstate rest areas have been stepping up and recycling aluminum cans, and plastic and glass bottles in new recycling containers conveniently located at these locations.

The Iowa Department of Transportation kicked-off the Iowa Recycles on the Road pilot project nine months ago at rest areas located near Ankeny, Mitchellville, Story City and Waukee.

“More than 2.8 million people stop at these eight rest areas annually and many of them have beverage containers in their vehicle they would like to recycle and they have been doing so,” according to Steve McMenamin, Iowa DOT rest area administrator. “More than 38,000 pounds of beverage containers have been collected and recycled at these rest areas.”

The commingled beverage containers collected at the rest areas are transported by Waste Management to International Paper Co. in Des Moines, a regional material recovery facility. The cans, glass and plastic bottles are processed there and shipped to end users, who use these materials to manufacture new beverage containers and other recyclable products.

The goals of the pilot recycling project include increased public awareness of the environmental benefits of recycling used beverage containers; reinforcement of the traveling public’s established household patterns of recycling through the Iowa Recycles on the Road program; and an increased understanding that we have a shared responsibility in litter prevention and keeping Iowa beautiful for all visitors to enjoy.

“We are very pleased with the participation so far from the traveling public to the recycling program at these eight rest areas. The pilot project continues through June and will help the Iowa DOT identify best management practices for determining future expansion plans of the recycling program to 32 additional Iowa interstate rest areas that serve 13.2 million visitors annually,” stated McMenamin.

In addition to the Iowa DOT, project partners include the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Alternatives Program, Keep Iowa Beautiful and Waste Management of Iowa.

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