Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa, USA (2019)

Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa, USA (2019)

Sustainable Materials Management – Vision for Iowa

Project Overview

The Iowa DNR has contracted with Future iQ, in partnership with the engineering firm of Burns and McDonnell, to facilitate a series of DNR and stakeholder meetings, research and outreach that will lead to the creation of a Sustainable Materials Management – Vision for Iowa that may be used as a statewide guide for future sustainable materials management related action. This guide will provide the foundation to update laws, policy and programs arising from the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection and the 1989 Waste Volume Reduction and Recycling Act.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is in the process of modernizing Iowa’s integrated solid waste management system to that of sustainable materials management. Iowa’s DNR work is currently structured in the context of waste management (discards) within a hierarchy of preferences and a goal of decreasing tons landfilled. Increased awareness of the environmental impacts and the limitations of the traditional waste management approach is triggering a global shift from waste management to materials management. Sustainable materials management action is focused on the environmental impact of materials from raw material extraction to product manufacture, transportation, use, reduction, reuse, recycling, and disposal. Viewing solid waste in a sustainable materials management perspective recognizes natural resource and energy requirements in creating new products by considering the full life cycle of materials, whereas a waste management approach is based on end-of-life management of discards.

Future iQ®'s Role in this Project

    Future iQ and Burns and McDonnell have been contracted to develop a state-wide vision that will guide the Iowa DNR from waste management to a materials management perspective.
    This process will include:

    • Background research on existing laws, policies, and programs
    • A state-wide stakeholder survey of views on waste and materials management in Iowa
    • Facilitation of an Iowa DNR Future Think-Tank
    • Stakeholder engagement in the form of focus groups
    • Data collection, analysis, and visualization
    • Production of an Iowa DNR Scenarios of the Future Report with next step recommendations for sustainable materials management in Iowa

Additional Resources and More Information