City Hall and all other City facilities are closed to the public as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. The closures will be effective after 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19, and will continue through May 15, 2020. City staff will continue to report to their offices and serve the public. Residents are encouraged to conduct City business online or by contacting individual City departments directly. Residents who are unsure how to conduct their City business may contact the City’s customer service hotline from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 515.239.5670.

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 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-paid punch card to pay for the service.  That's FWD thinking! And it's here!

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 five-punch card for waste disposal, and information on how to use the program.


FWD Basic Pack ($10): A five-punch card and five compostable bags.

Where Can I Purchase FWD Packs?

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 bringing information about the FWD Starter and Basic Packs to 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. 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 generates methane, 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.  

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

Contact the Resource Recovery Plant at 515.239.5137.