Iowa Waste Exchange

The Iowa Waste Exchange (IWE) is one of the nation’s premiere materials exchange programs. This no-cost, non-regulatory, confidential service matches institutions that produce byproducts and waste with other groups interested in using or recycling those materials. The program helps businesses, schools, hospitals and communities save disposal money and protect the environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials.

The Iowa Waste Exchange maintains a database of available and wanted materials. Companies and other groups can use this confidential service to find a market for materials they would otherwise have to discard or warehouse, thus avoiding disposal and storage fees. The program also offers free consultations so organizations can locate needed materials or potential buyers.

The Iowa Waste Exchange is funded by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and administered by Region XII COG.



Established in 1990 by the Iowa State Legislature to divert waste materials from the state’s sanitary landfills, the Iowa Waste Exchange has a proved record of success. Since its inception, the IWE has matched almost 5,000 byproducts and other waste materials. The IWE’s success in matching materials has resulted in the diversion of more than 720,000 tons of waste from Iowa landfills with associated savings to businesses of just under $20 million in avoided disposal costs. Participating businesses also realize savings from avoided purchases, reductions in transportation costs and freed storage space.



Online Materials Listings
The IWE features a sophisticated, interactive database with the most up-to-date information on materials available for exchange and reuse. The database is available free of charge through the Recycle Iowa Web site located here

Waste Management Technical Assistance
IWE area resource specialists are specially trained to identify waste streams and the potential for alternative disposal or exchange options. Each specialist can help Iowa businesses modify manufacturing processes to include the utilization of recycled raw materials.

Materials Innovation Service
Small- to medium-sized businesses are encouraged to test innovative recycled-content composites for use in their products. The IWE can link businesses to this specialized testing service, which helps companies develop revolutionary new materials while keeping valuable commodities out of Iowa landfills.

Economic Development and General Business Assistance
IWE connects businesses to the financial, marketing and other businesses planning resources needed to jump-start or expand any Iowa company’s recycling-related venture. In addition, the IWE can assist any business by providing information on recycled product availability, performance and cost.


Financial and Technical Assistance Resources – IWE Area Resource Specialists have access to a vast network of financial and technical assistance resources to assist your school in implementing waste reduction and recycling programs/projects.

Food Waste Minimization – IWE Area Resource Specialists are uniquely qualified to assist your school in minimizing cafeteria and other food related wastes. View and/or download IWE’s Food Waste Minimization Toolkit for Iowa Schools for more information.

Material Diversion/Procurement – IWE Area Resource Specialists can assist you in finding a landfill alternative for materials generated at your school and assist in locating materials that you may need or can use, including furniture and janitorial supplies. Keeping in contact with your IWE Rep will ensure you are notified when materials may become available.

Waste Audits/Assessments – Solutions to implementing inexpensive, yet effective practices that simultaneously encourage waste reduction begin by determining what items or materials are being wasted. This determination can be made by performing a waste characterization study (also referred to as a waste audit or waste sort) at your school. IWE Area Resource Specialists provide assistance and resources administering and completing a comprehensive waste audit, and are happy to discuss the process with you and schedule an event for your location. Data from the audit assists school administrators and staff members in implementing steps to minimize waste, and action that often helps save the school money.

Waste Minimization Education – IWE Area Resource Specialists can provide hands-on classroom presentations, presentations to assemblies, and/or assist schools with special collection activities and events.

Schools in Audubon, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Greene, Guthrie, Harrison, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth, Lyon, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Shelby, Sioux, Webster and Woodbury Counties Click Here to download the brochure for your specific area.

Schools in Boone, Cerro Gordo, Dallas, Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Polk, Story, Winnebago, Worth and Wright Counties Click Here to download the brochure for your specific area.




Iowa Waste Exchange area resource specialists across the state work with businesses of any size to match their waste with other businesses that need raw materials. Individual consultation sessions are free, confidential and nonregulatory. Whether you are looking for a particular material or need to get rid of a byproduct, the Iowa Waste Exchange can assist you. Region XII employs the following IWE Area Resource Specialists:

Area I Information

Area I Representative: Paige Alesch
Region XII Council of Governments
P.O. Box 768
Carroll, IA 51401
Phone: (712) 792-9914

Area I Counties:
Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Kossuth, Emmet, Sioux, O’Brien, Clay, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Woodbury, Ida, Sac, Calhoun, Webster, Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Greene, Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Guthrie, Pottawattamie, Cass, Adair, Mills, Montgomery, Adams, Union, Fremont, Page, Taylor, and Ringold.


Area II Information

Area II Representative: Shelly Codner
Region XII Council of Governments
Phone: (319) 404-1942

Area II Counties:
Winnebago, Worth, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, Wright, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Boone, Story, Dallas, Polk, Madison, Warren, Clarke, and Decatur


For a list of all of the IWE Area Resource Specialists and their service areas:

IWE Territory Map


Useful links:

IWE Program Information

Recycling Information