More than 30 years ago, Waste Commission of Scott County was formed to make sound solid waste management decisions regarding landfilling, source reduction, material reuse, recycling, composting and energy recovery.
As an inter-governmental agency, our members include 17 communities and Scott County that share our mission to provide environmentally sound and economically feasible solid waste management.
Beginning in the late ’80s with the Iowa Waste Reduction Act and the Ground Water Protection Act
, Scott County changed the way it managed solid waste, recognizing the need to increase existing recycling efforts. Local governmental agencies committed to work together to strive to achieve the Iowa guidelines and to meet the state goal of 50% reduction by the year 2000 in Scott County.
Replacing the previous Landfill Commission, the Scott Area Solid Waste Management Commission was formed in 1990 to provide solid waste services for Scott County. Prior to the ’90s, recycling in the county consisted of
removing select metal material from loads at the landfill, shredding newspaper for reuse as animal bedding, and minimal recycling in the business sector by private companies in the area.
The newly formed Commission quickly realized the importance of waste reduction, recycling, and reuse as established in Iowa’s Waste Hierarchy. The Commission held a day-long goal setting session to plan solid waste management goals in Scott County. All elected representatives in Scott County were invited to participate. Three main goals resulted from the goal setting session. First, the county needed to site a composting facility for yardwaste and biosolids. Second, the county needed to develop a county-wide recycling program. And third, the county needed to site an environmentally safe landfill.
Scott County was starting from ground zero. Facilities needed to be sited, built, and staffed. All facilities were needed as soon as possible to provide services to area residents and businesses. The composting facility was needed most immediately, due to the ban on landfilling yardwaste and the amount of waste generated by yard maintenance.
All three facilities were planned and carried out almost simultaneously over a four-year period. The siting process for each facility was long, difficult, and controversial. In hindsight, all the public discussions and resident concern focused the community on solid waste issues and made residents more aware of the need for waste reduction, recycling, and saving landfill space. As the new solid waste plan was implemented, and the new facilities were planned, waste reduction and recycling efforts were key in maximizing landfill space in Scott County and extending the life of the planned 48-acre landfill site.
The Scott Area Solid Waste Management Commission changed its name to the Waste Commission of Scott County in 2001, in an effort to make the name less complicated. The Commission continues to carry out Scott County’s comprehensive solid waste management plan by coordinating services for the entire county. The Commission is comprised of the mayor and an alderman from Davenport, mayor of Bettendorf, a mayor representing the smaller cities, and the Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors. The director of the Commission works with Solid Waste Superintendents in the larger cities and the Deputy Director at the Scott County Health Department to accomplish the details of the plan. In addition to the director, the Commission employs 27 full-time employees who help provide waste disposal and recycling services for Scott County.