MIDDLETOWN, Iowa — Iowa Army Ammunition Plant Commander, Lt. Col. Jason Crist, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark completion of the plant’s new Centralized Solid Waste Processing Facility. The $7.2 million, 36,841-square-foot recycling center replaces IAAAP's outdated recycling facility. The new facility diverts waste from local landfills while giving new life to materials previously marked for disposal.
Crist highlighted the new facility as part of the Army’s 15-year Modernization Plan. “Collectively, we will spend the next 15 years transitioning away from our remaining 1940s and 1950s equipment, developing a streamlined and modernized transformative working environment that more effectively meets our needs."
The Centralized Solid Waste Facility will process all inert solid waste generated by the plant and recycle materials previously bound for landfills. This improvement is part of the Department of Defense’s comprehensive Integrated Solid Waste Management approach, aimed at effectively managing solid waste generation, reduction, diversion, and disposal while maintaining compliance with federal and DoD requirements. Although the old facility recycled 784,976 pounds of waste in 2021, it was outdated, with both heat and water insufficient for safe and effective production. The new facility eliminates these concerns.
Solid waste products processed through the new Centralized Solid Waste Processing Facility will include inert ammunition, paper, cardboard, metal, e-waste, plastic, wood, and Styrofoam. Of particular interest is Styrofoam. One IAAAP production line creates 50 tons of Styrofoam annually, all of which has historically gone to landfills. The plant will also provide the opportunity for members of the public to drop off Styrofoam, an item not accepted by local recycling facilities.
According to Iowa AAP Environmental Coordinator Randy Doyle, “Once the new foam compressor is operational, we will be able to process Styrofoam then ship it out to make a variety of products, including picture frames, toilet seats, beanbag chairs, architecture moldings, and yogurt cups.”
Between 2020 and 2021, Iowa AAP recycled 1.3 million pounds of metal. An improved metal crusher at the new facility will allow the plant to increase that output significantly. "The metal crusher is a pretty big deal," said plant engineer Samie Koberg. "We’re all excited to have that ability now."