In 1983, Rathbun Area Solid Waste Commission was organized as a 28E Agreement to provide solid waste services to the Rathbun Planning Area. An appointed board member represents each voting member of the organization; click here to view the current list of RASWC representatives. RASWC is managed by Rodger Kaster, Director, and employs 7 full-time and part-time staff members.
Who We Serve
The Rathbun Planning Area is defined as the cities and unincorporated areas of Appanoose County and the cities of Promise City and Seymour of Wayne County.
Our Environmental Policy
RASWC, the Past
Development of state and federal regulations regarding the operation of solid waste facilities has significantly impacted solid waste services in the Rathbun Planning Area. In 1988 the privately owned landfill that served the area announced it would be closing due to costs of compliance with those regulations. The Appanoose County Sanitary Landfill was purchased by RASWC in 1989. At this time a user fee was established for disposal of waste and taxation for operation of the landfill ceased. RASWC continued to meet the quickly changing Iowa and EPA legislation requirements, resulting in: the development of a Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, establishment of the Recycling Center in 1993, continued compliance in monitoring and testing of environmental impacts due to operation of the landfill, and dedicated closure funds to provide financial assurance and post-closure care in the event of closure.
By 2004 Iowa DNR announced enforcement of RCRA Subtitle D standards by October 2007, requiring the installation of a plastic liner and leachate collection system in all operating landfills. As RASWC explored costs of updating the Appanoose County Sanitary Landfill to compliance, it was determined continued operation of the landfill was not economically feasible. After a series of public meetings RASWC announced a transfer station would be established and all waste would be delivered to South Central Iowa Solid Waste Agency in Marion County.
In December 2007 the Appanoose County Sanitary Landfill was closed and the Transfer Station began operations. Shortly after, an electrical fire claimed the major portion of the Recycling Center. The Recycling Center was rebuilt at the Transfer Station location and the Regional Collection Center was also established.
RASWC, the Future
Participation in regional organizations concerned with waste disposal, recycling and the environment has been an essential component of RASWC. Memberships in the Iowa Recycling Association and Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations along with continued participation in various Iowa Legislative Committees have kept RASWC abreast of modern waste disposal and resource recovery methods.
In 2009 the Rathbun Planning Area was selected by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as one of six Environmental Management System (EMS) pilot projects to look beyond solid waste disposal and toward environmental improvement by focusing on six categories: yard waste management, household hazardous waste collection, water quality improvement, greenhouse gas reduction, recycling services and environmental education. Continued improvement in each of the six categories will be required to maintain EMS status. The EMS Pilot Program with its model for continuous improvement is expected to encourage a shift from waste disposal towards resource management.
As of 2010, Indian Hills Community College and RASWC are working together to reclaim land at the Appanoose County Sanitary Landfill. The IHCC Sustainable Agriculture and Entrepreneurship program is establishing a farming operation to be used as a classroom lab. A cow/calf operation and hay production are both expected to develop at the closed landfill site.