Food Scrap Recycling

Dubuque was the first city in Iowa to offer a curbside food scrap recycling program. The food scrap recycling program has helped our community:
  • Extend our landfill's life; 
  • Reduce pollution (especially methane - a powerful greenhouse gas); 
  • Maintain Dubuque county’s recycling rate above 25 percent; and,
  • Create a beneficial compost product for gardens, landscaping, erosion control, and watershed protection.

    City customers may put their food scraps and compostable paper in their yard waste carts, cans, and bags. Their current yard waste container options are subscribed 64-gallon carts, 35-gallon cans with annual yard waste decals, 35-gallon cans with attached yellow stickers, or paper yard waste bags with attached yellow stickers. As a result, many customers are able to divert their food scraps at little or no additional cost by simply adding them to their current under-filled, underweight yard waste containers.

    The City’s composting contractor, Midwest Organic Solution LLC, accepts bio-plastic “compostable” bags marked as meeting ASTM standards 6400 or 6868. These bags can be used to contain food scraps in kitchen containers before later depositing them in your customers’ carts, cans, or bags.

    For more information, call the Public Works Department at 589-4250.
    Acceptable Compostable Materials:
    All food scraps (including meat and bones); coffee filters and tea bags; all food-soiled paper cups and paper plates; and, paper towels, placemats, napkins, and bags.

    Unacceptable Materials:
    Plastic bags, straws, utensils, lids, wrapping, and containers. Other: diapers, clothing, shoes, treated/painted wood, dead animals, animal waste/litter, cigarette butts, vacuum cleaner bags, hygiene products, medical and hazardous waste.
The GreenCart Option
Households, businesses, and institutions can subscribes to this fee-based program. Residential subscriber are provided a 1.5-gallon Kitchen Catcher container and a 13-gallon, wheeled GeenCart. For City solid waste customers, the subscription fee for each GreenCart is only $1.00 per month. Larger cart options are available to business and institutional customers. Call the Public Works Department at 589-4250 for more information.