Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

February 1, 2010

RASWC to participate in pilot program aiming to improve the environment

Rathbun Area Solid Waste Commission is participating in the Environmental Management System Pilot Program. RASWC was one of six planning areas in the state of Iowa selected to participate in the pilot program in November. The planning area is defined as the cities and unincorporated areas of Appanoose County, the cities of Promise City and Seymour in Wayne County.

The Environmental Management System Pilot Program, or EMS, was made possible by House File 2570 in 2008 which provides a framework for action and funding through the Solid Waste Alternatives Program. The EMS program will look beyond solid waste disposal and toward environmental improvement by focusing on six categories: Yard waste management, household hazardous waste collection, water quality improvement, greenhouse gas reduction, recycling services and environmental education. Continual and measured improvement in each of the six categories will be required to maintain EMS status. In addition to benefitting the environment, the EMS program can reduce an organization’s operating costs by identifying improvement opportunities in waste reduction, energy conservation and water quality.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the state’s current waste management policies are no longer accurate in determining the value of programs and their correlated funding. Baselines set in 1988 along with state and federal guidelines that are now 20 years old were designed as a system of controls to protect human health and the environment. The EMS Pilot Program with its model for continuous improvement is expected to encourage a shift from waste disposal towards resource management. IDNR is expecting to launch the EMS program state-wide after completion of the one year pilot program, allowing opportunities to all planning areas to implement EMS in their communities.

For more information about the EMS program or solid waste and recycling services in the planning area, call the RASWC office at (641) 437-7279 or e-mail