Download the full conference program [pdf].


Welcome Session & Keynote 8:30-10 a.m.
Coral Ballroom Salons CDE (1.5 CEUs)

Keynote Address: Damon Carson, repurposedMATERIALS
Be inspired by Damon Carson, owner & founder of repurposedMATERIALS! This company takes a byproduct or waste stream and gives it a second life. A retired street sweeper brush becomes a backscratcher for horses or cattle. Or a decommissioned fire hose gets new life as a boat dock fender. The company started focusing solely on material “repurposing” like in these examples and has all kinds of crazy, offbeat industrial castoffs at their five locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Philadelphia. Learn how the company is now expanding the “repurposing” mission to include things like chemicals, ingredients, products, inventories, equipment, machinery and real estate.

View repurposedMATERIALS keynote presentation


  • Mayor Jim Throgmorton, City of Iowa City,

  • Damon Carson, repurposedMATERIALS,

ISOSWO/IRA Annual Meetings & Roundtable Discussions 10:30-11:30 a.m.
ISOSWO Annual Meeting & Safety Roundtable

Coral Ballroom Salon A (1 CEU)
This session opens with ISOSWO’s annual meeting, which includes board member election results. Following, attendees will engage in a moderated roundtable discussion led by ISOSWO’s SWANA Safety Ambassador. Come prepared to share, discuss and learn more about landfill safety.

View Safety Roundtable Presentation


  • Laura Routh, Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency,

IRA Annual Meeting & Recycling Roundtable
Coral Ballroom Salon B (1 CEU)
This session opens with IRA’s annual meeting, which includes board inductions and officer elections. Following, attendees will engage in moderated roundtable discussions led by Susan Collins, president of the Container Recycling Institute. She will discuss the economic and environmental impacts of bottle bills, what other states have done to improve their legislation, and financial impacts of expanding or eliminating bottle redemption programs. 

View Economic and Environmental Benefits of Container Deposit Laws presentation


  • Susan Collins, Container Recycling Institute,

Awards Luncheon and Panel Discussion 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Coral Ballroom Salons CDE (2 CEUs)
The lunch buffet will start at 11:30 a.m. outside Coral Ballroom. Network with colleagues during this seated luncheon. During lunch, representatives from IRA and ISOSWO will present their organizations’ 2017 award winners.

View ISOSWO Awards presentation

View IRA Awards presentation

Bottle Bill Past and Future – Time for a Change to Litter and Recycling Policy?
Keep Iowa Beautiful’s Gerry Schnepf will present on the history and background of Iowa’s 38-year-old Beverage Container Deposit Law, otherwise known as the “Bottle Bill.” Following, Michelle Hurd, president of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, will explain the background and desired outcomes of HF575, 2017 legislation which proposed major changes to the redemption program in Iowa. Finally, Susan Collins, president of the Container Recycling Institute, will speak about the economic and environmental impacts of the “Bottle Bill” and the potential financial impacts if pending legislation is passed into law.

View Container Recycling Institute presentation

View Iowa Grocery Industry Association presentation

View Facebook Live video of the panel discussion

View list of questions submitted (answered and unanswered)

View Cedar Rapids Gazette coverage of panel discussion

View KWWL coverage of panel discussion


  • Michelle Hurd, Iowa Grocery Industry Association,

  • Susan Collins, Container Recycling Institute,

Concurrent Sessions 1:45-2:45 p.m.

Solid Waste Track
Coral Ballroom Salon A (1 CEU)
Development of an Operational Fill Plan
Operational fill planning provides an operationally-driven view of permit documents to provide detailed plans for incremental stages of how a facility develops from new cell construction through final closure, and all the steps in between. A well-thought-out operational fill plan can help to increase production, minimize double-handling of waste, forecast drainage issues, and help to effectively plan for capital expenditures. This leads to long-term costs becoming normalized costs (including costs of closure, cell expansions, and long-term access roads) and a plan for daily and weekly operations to provide to all levels of staff. This presentation will look at several key questions fill planning attempts to answer.

Wet Weather Fill Operations
Wet weather filling, whether during a mild winter or the typical wet spring, is standard operating procedure for Iowa landfills. Like so many other aspects of landfill facility operation, each site has developed unique solutions to similar day-to-day challenges, and wet weather filling operations is no different. This presentation will describe state and nationwide best practices for wet weather filling operations, with a focus on specific details related to cost, materials, sizing, and implementation. This presentation will specifically include a series of evaluations to best size, construct, and manage your wet weather fill area.


  • Garrett Williams, PE, HDR,

  • Mike Classen, PE, HDR,

Recycling Track
Coral Ballroom Salon B (1 CEU)

State of Iowa Rural Recycling Hub and Spoke Recycling Project
The DNR commissioned SCS Engineers to complete a study to inventory existing recycling operations within rural Iowa and assess the feasibility of creating rural partnerships with a hub and spoke type of system. The research for this project revealed that the existing recycling infrastructure is varied and plentiful, possibly to excess. While the existing system contributes to a high level of access to recycling within rural communities, it reveals too many players competing for, what could be, a static amount of material. Learn the details of what the study revealed and how the results will potentially be used to increase the recycling rate in Iowa.

Issues to Assist in Evaluating Recycling Options
There are many options to consider with single-stream and mixed-waste Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). No single approach fits all cases. Compounding this challenge is the recent swing in recyclables markets driving up the cost of recycling. As contracts with recyclable processors are being re-evaluated, many agencies are finding themselves asking, “Would it be better for us just to do this ourselves?” While this presentation will not attempt to address all concerns, options and situations, it will cover issues that may help evaluate recycling options.

View Hub and Spoke Recycling presentation

View Issues to Assist in Evaluating Recycling Options presentation


  • Michelle Leonard, SCS Engineers,

  • Tom Anderson, Iowa Department of Natural Resources,

  • Greg Gesell, HDR,

Best Practices Track
Oakdale Ballroom 1&2 (1 CEU)

Environmental Management Systems
The Iowa Solid Waste Environmental Management System (EMS) was signed into law ten years ago. This session will provide a program update which includes: EMS overview, history, participants, impacts of 2016 and 2017 legislative changes, EMS program framework, voluntary program applications, EMS benefits, tier 1 and tier 2 training, annual reporting, auditing and success stories and challenges.

View DNR EMS Update presentation

View South Central Iowa Solid Waste Agency EMS presentation

View Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency Monarchs and Goats presentation

Environmental Impacts-Monarchs and Goats
As part of its EMS efforts to increase positive environmental impacts at its landfill, the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency (Agency) embarked on two new unique projects: rearing monarch butterflies and grazing goats! This presentation will cover how the Agency worked with the Monarch Research Project to install monarch rearing tents and how they are using goats to graze 30 acres of a closed and capped landfill section to eliminate the use of mowers and transportation of clippings.


  • Leslie Goldsmith, Iowa DNR,

  • Jason Evans, Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency,

Concurrent Sessions 3-3:45 p.m.

Solid Waste Track
Coral Ballroom Salon A (.75 CEUs)

The Effect of Landfill Gas on Electric and Pneumatic Pumps and Controls
Landfill Gas (LFG), while being a corrosive mixture, also exerts many other effects on pumping systems and controls. Learn how LFG can cause pumps and instrumentation to operate in unwanted and sometimes unexpected ways and discover ways to minimize impacts.

Landfill Pump Maintenance – Critical Pump Maintenance Tips and Demonstrations to Keep Things Working
Pumps are critical components to the landfill infrastructure. This session will provide a hands-on demonstration of some of the most common issues facilities have with leachate pumps, along with some tips on maintenance procedures that can be performed by landfill staff in an effort to avoid costly maintenance issues, and how to recognize you may have an issue with a pump – before it’s too late.

View Effect of Landfill Gas presentation

View Landfill Pump Maintenance presentation


  • Chris Riddle, EPG Companies,

  • Andrew Phillips, Barker Lemar Engineering Consultants,

  • Austin Banks, Barker Lemar Engineering Consultants,

Recycling Track
Coral Ballroom Salon B (.75 CEUs)

Building Demolition with an Emphasis on Recycling
This presentation will cover the approach for Green Demolition on a variety of project types ranging from single-story office buildings to 20-story high rise towers, and will include the process utilized for repurposing and recycling building contents and components through salvaging and sales. The projects incorporate initiatives to achieve landfill diversion rates of 85 to 95 percent for C&D debris. Mr. Seymour will present case studies of recent demolition and deconstruction projects with data showing results and benefits to the bottom line.

View Green Demolition presentation


  • Donald Seymour, FEH Designs Inc.,

Best Practices Track
Oakdale Ballroom 1&2 (.75 CEUs)

Optimizing Solid Waste and Recycling Collection Services and the Latest Technologies
Collection costs typically account for 70 percent of the cost of providing curbside services to households.  In this session, information will be presented on the latest in collection truck technologies, routing efficiency tools, and cart technologies such as RFID that can improve resident satisfaction with solid waste and recycling services.  Ms. Klennert has twenty-plus years of experience and relationships for compiling this information and will provide a broad overview of "what's next".

View Optimizing Collection Services presentation


  • Jennefer Klennert, Foth Infrastructure and Environment,

Concurrent Sessions 3:45-4:30 p.m.

Solid Waste Track

Coral Ballroom Salon A (.75 CEUs)

Tips and Tricks to Help Minimize Leachate Generation
Leachate is one of the primary issues solid waste operators deal with, and it makes up a sizable portion of a facility’s operational budget. Do you think of leachate generation as a controllable cost? Learn possible ways to help reduce overall leachate generation, and hear relevant case studies of owners and operators that have successfully implemented leachate minimization strategies and reduced their leachate generation through the various stages of a landfill's life-cycle.

View Tips To Minimize Leachate presentation

Leachate Transportation System – Carroll County Landfill Case Study
Following unforeseen expansion of the waste footprint and volumes since the landfill's original leachate management system was constructed in 1994, the Carroll County Solid Waste Management Commission was faced with a daunting capital improvement project of upgrading a leachate transport system that was failing. Learn how the Commission's team worked together to navigate this paralyzing issue and develop a better system that benefits future growth of the community, improves protection of human health and the environment, and serves as a success story for working through this project within the framework and principles of the Environmental Management System (EMS) program.

View Carroll County Leachate Transportation presentation


  • Stephanie Stolz, PE, Barker Lemar Engineering Consultants,

  • Dan Bacehowski, Foth Infrastructure and Environment,

  • Mary Wittry, Carroll County Solid Waste Management Commission,

Recycling Track
Coral Ballroom Salon B (.75 CEUs)

Why it’s Time to Evolve our Recycling Goals
For the past 25 years, Americans have been obsessed with recycling. And cities have set aggressive, high, weight-based recycling goals. In our obsession with achieving weight-based recycling goals, we’ve lost sight of what really matters: reducing GHG emissions. Perhaps it’s time to move beyond broad weight-based recycling goals and instead think of the bigger, broader and bolder benefits to the environment by focusing on reducing GHG emissions. This change will create more efficient and effective solid waste management programs that allow us to get more bang for the buck. 

View Why it's Time to Evolve Recycling Goals presentation


  • Susan Robinson, Waste Management,

Best Practices Track
Oakdale Ballroom 1&2 (.75 CEUs)

Keeping Your Vision on Track: Successfully Navigating Local Siting Approval
How do you incorporate a vision of integrated solid waste management to allow landfill lateral expansion, a compost facility, and other possible processing facilities and disposal areas for managing solid waste over the next 50 years or more?  Siting a solid waste facility can be a challenging endeavor, and even before you can submit a permit application to the state, local siting approval must be obtained. Follow along as we navigate through a recent siting approval for lateral expansion, compost facility, and flexibility for other solid waste disposal areas and processing facilities.


  • Lori Calub, PE, HDR,

ISOSWO Safety Committee Business Meeting 7:30-8:30 a.m.
Coral Ballroom Salon A (1 CEU)

General Session 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Coral Ballroom Salons CDE (1 CEU)

DNR Update

DNR staff will provide an update on recent and current regulatory activities.

View Iowa DNR Update presentation

State of Iowa 2017 Waste Characterization Study Update

The DNR has had statewide waste sorts performed in 1998, 2005, 2011 and 2017. The 2017 waste sorts were performed in May through July at 13 Iowa facilities. Learn about the 2017 waste sort process and results, and see how the 2017 data compares to previous results.

View Iowa 2017 Waste Characterization presentation


  • Alex Moon, Iowa DNR,
  • Brent Dieleman, SCS Engineers,
  • Tom Anderson, Iowa DNR,


Concurrent Sessions 9:30-10 a.m.

Solid Waste Track
Coral Ballroom Salon A (.5 CEUs)

Excavating Pre-1980 Landfill Area to Increase Lifespan and Improve Environmental Conditions
In 2016, the South Dallas County Landfill began the excavation of a pre-1980 waste cell to increase future disposal capacity and to improve the environmental conditions associated with the deposited waste. The staff experimented with existing and modified equipment to recover substantial volumes of reusable soil for a future liner, a final cover cap, and for daily cover. The project identified that large quantities of soil were "wasted" in the cell and has also produced some interesting observations of the condition of the waste within the cell after 40 years. 

View Excavation of 1980 Landfill presentation


  • Cindy Turkle, Turkle-Clark Environmental Consulting,
  • Mike Fountas, South Dallas County Landfill,

Recycling Track
Coral Ballroom Salon B (.5 CEUs)

Fix-It Clinics and Repair as a means to Reduce Waste
Waste reduction often gets less attention than recycling, but the prevention of waste through repair has exponential benefits over recycling. Through repair, the useful life of an item is longer, saving raw materials, resources and money. Repair empowers people and inspires pride in ownership by enhancing their knowledge and independence. Learn about Hennepin County Minnesota’s innovative solution to help reduce waste—Fix-It Clinics.


  • Nancy Lo, Hennepin County (MN) Department of Environment and Energy,

Best Practices Track
Oakdale Ballroom 1&2 (.5 CEUs)

Approaches to Securing Landfill Safety Training for Staff
Providing frequent and effective operations and safety training for landfill staff can be challenging for landfills in Iowa. Solid waste facilities must balance the requirements and benefits of training but also minimize the potential disruption of daily operations. Learn about two different approaches to staff training that are being used across the state.

Training Program Resources Using IMWCA's Online University
Finding impactful safety training that accommodates landfill staff’s busy schedules can be difficult.  Discover how one agency is using Iowa Municipal Workers’ Compensation Association’s (IMWCA) Online University to organize and meet training requirements. This session will demonstrate how the system can be used to assign training needs and schedules for multiple groups, maintain records, and integrate with established training strategies to manage an effective and efficient training program.

View ECICOG Safety Presentation

View IMWCA Online University Presentation


  • Alicia Presto, East Central Iowa Council of Governments,
  • Jennifer Frampton, South Central Iowa Solid Waste Agency,  

Concurrent Sessions 10:15-11 a.m.

Solid Waste Track
Coral Ballroom Salon A (.75 CEUs)

Harvest Good Data to Make Great Operational Decisions
Critical operational, budgetary, and compliance decisions are made after reviewing data. The greater the quality and quantity of data one has to review, the more knowledgeable and effective their decisions will be. Seemingly small operational decisions made with limited or poor-quality data can lead to inefficiencies, additional costs, and/or non-compliance. Learn how technology can help landfills decrease operational costs, increase operational efficiencies, improve and demonstrate compliance, and how data review and reporting can now be automated.

Incorporating Technologies at Landfills – GPS, Machine Control, and UAVs
GPS technologies have become a powerful tool for the solid waste industry. Learn how GPS technologies are being used to improve landfill operations, how the system operates, what data you can expect to receive, and how that information influences critical operational decisions. 

View Harvest Good Data presentation

View GPS at Landfills presentation


  • Tracy Lemar, PE, Barker Lemar Engineering Consultants,
  • Chris O’Brien, Barker Lemar Engineering Consultants,
  • Jacob Wiese, RDO Integrated Controls,

Recycling Track
Coral Ballroom Salon B (.75 CEUs)

Food Waste Reduction Efforts Locally and Across Iowa
Food waste makes up approximately 15 percent of what goes into Iowa’s landfills. In 2007, the Iowa City Landfill’s compost facility began accepting commercial food waste. In 2014, the City piloted “Food: Too Good to Waste,” an EPA residential food waste reduction program. The City also used the opportunity to pilot curbside collection. In May 2017, they rolled out food waste collection at the curb. This presentation will give an overview of the City’s efforts, lessons learned, successes and next steps. 

Statewide, many efforts are underway to reduce food waste based on the hierarchy. The Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) has undertaken several projects to quantify and reduce food waste. IWRC convened the Iowa Food Waste Stakeholder Group in 2015 and organized the Midwest Food Recovery Summit held in Des Moines in September 2017. IWRC will discuss statewide efforts to reduce food waste and provide a recap of the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. 

View Iowa City Food Waste Reduction presentation

View Iowa Waste Reduction Center Food Waste presentation


  • Jen Jordan, Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center,  
  • Dan Nickey, Iowa Waste Reduction Center,
  • Jenny Trent, Iowa Waste Reduction Center,

Best Practices Track
Oakdale Ballroom 1&2 (.75 CEUs)

Part 1 of 2. The second half of this session is from 11 a.m. to noon.

Part I: Is Productive Conflict Resolution an Oxymoron?
As an encore to his 2016 presentations, Mr. Feirer is back to discuss conflict resolution. This presentation covers personality styles, why people engage in specific behaviors (such as arguing, defensiveness, revenge, withdrawing) and how to push past them, and productive versus destructive tendencies during conflict.


  • Alan Feirer, Group Dynamic,

Concurrent Sessions 11 a.m.-noon

Solid Waste Track
Coral Ballroom Salon A (1 CEU)

Landfill Final Cover Systems
In this session you will learn about several options for cover systems for closed landfills including: Closure Turf®, exposed geosynthetic, evapotranspirative, exposed geomembranes, and those that incorporate solar photovoltaic panels or turf.  Hear about the benefits of each, long-term performance, case studies, maintenance requirements, suitability in Iowa’s climate and regulatory hurdles.

View Landfill Final Cover Practices presentation

View Lite Earth and Exposed Geomembrane presentation

View Closure Turf presentation


  • Betsy Powers, SCS Engineers,  
  • Clay Reichert, PE, GSE,
  • Chris Eichelberger, Agru America,

Recycling Track
Coral Ballroom Salon B (1 CEU)

Curbside Efficiency
The City of Dubuque will discuss the implementation of ReCollect Waste DBQ, a free tool for customers to remember to set out their trash, recycling, and organics; stay informed on collection schedule changes; and to know what can and cannot be recycled.

The City of Des Moines will give an overview of their new Gold Level Recycling Program, which was designed to decrease the level of contamination found in recent recycling audits. With a program mantra of “Gold is Green,” it identifies “Super Recyclers” by replacing the traditional blue lid on their recycling carts with the highly coveted Gold Lid.  With increased residential engagement, the City has reduced its overall contamination rate by nearly 3 percent since the program went live in February 2017.

View Gold Level Recycling Program presentation

  • Anderson Sainci, City of Dubuque,
  • Darrell Caldwell, City of Des Moines,

Best Practices Track
Oakdale Ballroom 1&2 (1 CEU)

Part II: Is Productive Conflict Resolution an Oxymoron?
This presentation is a continuation of the 10:15-11 a.m. session.


  • Alan Feirer, Group Dynamic,