Food Waste Diversion (FWD)

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Welcome to FWD thinking! 

The City of Ames is offering FWD, a Food Waste Diversion pilot project to help keep food waste out of the landfill. Not everyone has the space, time, or know-how to compost food, but many residents want an alternative to putting organic waste in the trash and burying it in a landfill. FWD offers that alternative!

The program will begin July 2019!


The FWD pilot project allows participants to purchase a FWD starter or basic kit to use for organic waste collection. When your bucket or bag is full, you can take it to one of two sites listed below. Dispose of your organic waste at either disposal site and use your pre-loaded punch card to pay for the service.  That's FWD thinking! And it's coming soon!

FWD Disposal Sites 

Resource Recovery Plant (year-round)
110 Center Ave. (disposal on the north side at 440 E. 2nd Street, Lane 1)
Mon - Fri (7am to 3:30pm)
Sat (8am to noon)

GreenRU Yard Waste Site (Apr 1 - Dec 15)
400 Freel Drive
Mon, Wed, Friday (Noon - 5pm)
Sat (8am to noon)

Fee Structure

FWD Starter Pack ($20): 4-gallon bucket and lid, five compostable bags, a card with five punches for waste disposal, and information on how to use the program.

FWD Basic Pack ($10): A card with five punches and five compostable bags.

Where Can I Purchase FWD Packs?

BEGINNING JULY 2019, there are three places to purchase the FWD Starter Pack or Basic Pack:

Resource Recovery Plant (year-round)
110 Center Ave.
Mon - Fri (7am to 3:30pm)
Sat (8am to noon)

GreenRU Yard Waste Site (April 1 through December 15)
400 Freel Drive
Mon, Wed, Friday (Noon - 5pm)
Sat (8am to noon)

City Hall Community Center (year-round)
515 Clark Ave.
Mon - Fri (5am - 9pm)
Sat (8am - 2pm)
Sun (2 - 8pm) 

Look For Us in the Community! 

We will be sharing information about the FWD Starter and Basic Packs with you as we launch the program! Look for us on selected dates at Ames Main Street Farmers' Market this summer, at the Ames Fourth of July Community Pancake Breakfast at City Hall, and various events throughout the summer.  Keep an eye on this page!

Help us spread FWD thinking throughout Story County, and decrease the amount of organic waste sent to the landfill.

This is a 12-month pilot project, and the program may be modified based on customer input, participation, and demand. FWD program begins July 2019. Get involved and be part of the FWD solution!

Why is Food Waste Diversion Important?

“Reducing the amount of organics we throw away is important. A tremendous amount of natural resources and energy are used to grow, process, package, and transport food,” explains Bill Schmitt, Resource Recovery Plant Superintendent. "Food waste that goes to landfills takes up valuable space, and generates methane, which is a harmful greenhouse gas."

Ames has a very unique and forward-thinking system of turning trash into energy. The Resource Recovery Plant, 110 Center Ave., was the first municipally owned and operated waste-to-energy system in the nation in 1975. Garbage from most of Story County is taken to the Resource Recovery Plant for processing into refuse derived fuel (RDF) and sent to the Ames Power Plant. Materials like metal and glass are non-beneficial for the power plant.  

For more information about FWD, the Food Waste Diversion pilot program:

Contact the Resource Recovery Plant at 515.239.5137.