The Iowa Waste Reduction Center began in January 1988 as a result of the 1987 Groundwater Protection Act. The Groundwater Protection Act became law as a result of the actions taken by the 72nd General Assembly, because the Legislature believed the state must do more to protect Iowa's environment.
For the last 26 years, the IWRC has been working with businesses to protect Iowa's environment through technical assistance, waste reduction and pollution prevention. What began as a three-person non-profit with an office in a trailer, has grown to a staff of 17 employees located in two office buildings, and a 17,000 square foot painter training facility.
Environmental Technical Assistance
The IWRC's primary focus is providing free, non-regulatory environmental technical assistance to Iowa's small businesses. IWRC environmental specialists are incredibly knowledgeable in topics ranging from stormwater to spray painting, and air emissions to environmental regulations. IWRC services are designed to assist Iowa small businesses understand the complexity of environmental regulations, waste reduction, and technologies.
Through the two primary programs including On-Site Reviews and Iowa Air Emissions Assistance Program, as well as through partnering with the Iowa Waste Exchange, the IWRC has had the opportunity to work with thousands of businesses in all 99 of Iowa's counties.
Expanding into Coatings Industry
While the IWRC's main focus has always been on Iowa, the IWRC's reach spans much further. Since the early 1990's, the IWRC has been increasingly focused on fulfilling the need for painter training and research into proper application. Past programs such as STAR assisted community colleges across the country with painter training and the STAR4D program has worked with over 100 military bases located all across the country as well as in Japan.
Plus, with the development of products like the VirtualPaint and SprayItRight, the IWRC has been able to reach paint facilities of all sizes from a small auto body shop, to a community college classroom, and even Fortune 500 companies.
Waste Reduction Efforts
Recent efforts have focused on waste reduction for specific industries. Through 2013, the IWRC implemented the Iowa Food Waste Reduction Project, hosting workshops and providing resources throughout Iowa in an effort to reduce the amount of food that is wasted, and disposed of in landfills.
Most recently in 2014, the Iowa Construction and Demolition Waste Reduction Project has similar aims - reducing the waste associated with the construction industry.
Regardless of the industry, IWRC's programs and services all maintain a core focus on helping businesses to reduce waste. After all, waste reduction is in our name!