You may have noticed a change in the City of Newton Leaf Bag Collection Program this year. The bags that are part of this program are now compostable! The bags will break down at the landfill and also meet the requirements of the ATSM D6400 standards for compostable plastic. The compostable leaf bags brought to the landfill by the City of Newton Trash & Recycling contractor are stock piled in a separate area at the landfill and then mixed with other yard waste material, broken down and used at the landfill.
Why was this change made?
The Newton Sanitary Landfill is owned by all the 28-E members in the Jasper County Landfill Service Area. The Leaf Bag Collection Program is a unique program to the City of Newton. It is not a program that is part of standard sanitary landfill operations offered to all the 28-E members. With previous leaf bags, landfill staff had to cut, open, empty and landfill tens of thousands of leaf bags. Using compostable bags eliminates the massive amount of labor associated with emptying every bag and helped eliminate hundreds of hours spent on these tasks, on top of the normal operations. The additional labor costs were beginning to exceed the revenue generated from the sales of the leaf bags. This revenue is how the City of Newton helped cover the cost of this program, including materials and labor. The decision to raise the fees associated with purchasing the bags to cover the additional cost of the program, did not make sense. Instead, the new compostable bags remove the additional labor cost and allowed the City of Newton to maintain the cost of the bag.
If you have questions, please contact Public Works at 641-792-6622 or the Newton Sanitary Landfill at 641-792-3866.