Chapter 105 – Solid Waste Control

105.01 PURPOSE.

The purpose of the chapters in this Code of Ordinances pertaining to Solid Waste Control and Collection is to provide for the sanitary storage, collection and disposal of solid waste and, thereby, to protect the citizens of the City from such hazards to their health, safety and welfare as may result from the uncontrolled disposal of solid waste.


For use in these chapters the following terms are defined:

  1. “Collector” means any person authorized to gather solid waste from public and private places.
  2. “Discard” means to place, cause to be placed, throw, deposit or drop.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.361[2])
  3. “Dwelling unit” means any room or group of rooms located within a structure and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used, or are intended to be used, for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.
  4. “Garbage” means all solid and semisolid, putrescible animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparing, cooking, storing, serving and consuming of food or of material intended for use as food, and all offal, excluding useful industrial by-products, and includes all such substances from all public and private establishments and from all residences.

    (IAC, 567-100.2)
  5. “Landscape waste” means any vegetable or plant waste except garbage. The term includes trees, tree trimmings, branches, stumps, brush, weeds, leaves, grass, shrubbery and yard trimmings.

    (IAC, 567-20.2[455B])
  6. “Litter” means any garbage, rubbish, trash, refuse, waste materials or debris.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.361[1])
  7. “Owner” means, in addition to the record titleholder, any person residing in, renting, leasing, occupying, operating or transacting business in any premises, and as between such parties the duties, responsibilities, liabilities and obligations hereinafter imposed shall be joint and several.
  8. “Refuse” means putrescible and non-putrescible waste, including but not limited to garbage, rubbish, ashes, incinerator residues, street cleanings, market and industrial solid waste and sewage treatment waste in dry or semisolid form.

    (IAC, 567-100.2)
  9. “Residential premises” means a single-family dwelling and any multiple-family dwelling.
  10. “Residential waste” means any refuse generated on the premises as a result of residential activities. The term includes landscape waste grown on the premises or deposited thereon by the elements, but excludes garbage, tires, trade wastes and any locally recyclable goods or plastics.

    (IAC, 567-20.2[455B])
  11. “Rubbish” means non-putrescible solid waste consisting of combustible and non-combustible waste, such as ashes, paper, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, wood, glass, bedding, crockery or litter of any kind.

    (IAC, 567-100.2)
  12. “Sanitary disposal” means a method of treating solid waste so that it does not produce a hazard to the public health or safety or create a nuisance.

    (IAC, 567-100.2)
  13. “Sanitary disposal project” means all facilities and appurtenances including all real and personal property connected with such facilities, which are acquired, purchased, constructed, reconstructed, equipped, improved, extended, maintained, or operated to facilitate the final disposition of solid waste without creating a significant hazard to the public health or safety, and which are approved by the Director of the State Department of Natural Resources.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.301)
  14. “Solid waste” means garbage, refuse, rubbish, and other similar discarded solid or semisolid materials, including but not limited to such materials resulting from industrial, commercial, agricultural, and domestic activities. Solid waste may include vehicles, as defined by subsection one of Section 321.1 of the Code of Iowa.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.301)


It is the duty of each owner to provide for the sanitary disposal of all refuse accumulating on the owner’s premises before it becomes a nuisance. Any such accumulation remaining on any premises for a period of more than thirty (30) days shall be deemed a nuisance and the City may proceed to abate such nuisances in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 50 or by initiating proper action in district court.

(Code of Iowa, Ch. 657)


It is unlawful for any person to permit to accumulate on any premises, improved or vacant, or on any public place, such quantities of solid waste that constitute a health, sanitation or fire hazard.


No person shall allow, cause or permit open burning of combustible materials where the products of combustion are emitted into the open air without passing through a chimney or stack, except that open burning is permitted in the following circumstances:

(IAC, 567-23.2[455B] and 567-100.2)

  1. Disaster Rubbish. The open burning of rubbish, including landscape waste, for the duration of the community disaster period in cases where an officially declared emergency condition exists, provided that the burning of any structures or demolished structures shall be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR Section 61.145.

    (IAC, 567-23.2[3a])
  2. Trees and Tree Trimmings. The open burning of trees and tree trimmings at a City-operated burning site, provided such burning is conducted in compliance with the rules established by the State Department of Natural Resources.

    (IAC, 567-23.2[3b])
  3. Flare Stacks. The open burning or flaring of waste gases, provided such open burning or flaring is conducted in compliance with applicable rules of the State Department of Natural Resources.

    (IAC, 567-23.2[3c])
  4. Landscape Waste. The disposal by open burning of landscape waste originating on the premises. However, the burning of landscape waste produced in clearing, grubbing and construction operations shall be limited to areas located at least one-fourth (¼) mile from any building inhabited by other than the landowner or tenant conducting the open burning. Rubber tires shall not be used to ignite landscape waste.

    (IAC, 567-23.2[3d])
  5. Recreational Fires. Open fires for cooking, heating, recreation and ceremonies, provided they comply with the limits for emission of visible air contaminants established by the State Department of Natural Resources. Rubber tires shall not be burned in a recreational fire.
  6. Training Fires and Controlled Burning. Fires set for the purpose of bona fide training of public or industrial employees in fire fighting methods and the controlled burning of a demolished building, provided that the training fires and controlled burning are conducted in compliance with rules established by the State Department of Natural Resources.

    (IAC, 567-23.2[3g])
  7. Pesticide Containers and Seed Corn Bags. Paper or plastic pesticide containers and seed corn bags resulting from farming activities occurring on the premises if burned in accordance with rules established by the State Department of Natural Resources.

    (IAC, 567-23.2[3h])
  8. Agricultural Structures. The open burning of agricultural structures if in accordance with rules and limitations established by the State Department of Natural Resources.

    (IAC, 567-23.2[3i])
  9. Variance. Any person wishing to conduct open burning of materials not permitted herein may make application for a variance to the Director of the State Department of Natural Resources.

    (IAC, 567-23.2[2])


All yard waste shall be separated by the owner or occupant from all other solid waste accumulated on the premises and shall be composted or burned on the premises or placed in City yard waste bags and set out for collection. Only bags sold or specifically authorized by the City and identified as such may be used. As used in this section, “yard waste” means any debris such as grass clippings, leaves, garden waste, brush and trees. Yard waste does not include tree stumps.


No person shall discard any litter onto or in any water or land, except that nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the authorized collection and discarding of such litter in or on areas or receptacles provided for such purpose. When litter is discarded from a motor vehicle, the driver of the motor vehicle shall be responsible for the act in any case where doubt exists as to which occupant of the motor vehicle actually discarded the litter.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.363)


No person shall dump or deposit or permit the dumping or depositing of any solid waste on the surface of the ground or into a body or stream of water at any place other than a sanitary disposal project approved by the Director of the State Department of Natural Resources, unless a special permit to dump or deposit solid waste on land owned or leased by such person has been obtained from the Director of the State Department of Natural Resources. However, this section does not prohibit the use of dirt, stone, brick or similar inorganic material for fill, landscaping, excavation, or grading at places other than a sanitary disposal project.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.307 and IAC, 567-100.2)


No person shall deposit in a solid waste container or otherwise offer for collection any toxic or hazardous waste. Such materials shall be transported and disposed of as prescribed by the Director of the State Department of Natural Resources. As used in this section, “toxic and hazardous waste” means waste materials, including but not limited to, poisons, pesticides, herbicides, acids, caustics, pathological waste, flammable or explosive materials and similar harmful waste which requires special handling and which must be disposed of in such a manner as to conserve the environment and protect the public health and safety.

(IAC, 567-100.2)

(IAC, 567-102.14[2] and 400-27.14[2])


Every person owning, managing, operating, leasing or renting any premises, dwelling unit or any place where refuse accumulates shall provide and at all times maintain in good order and repair portable containers for refuse in accordance with the following:

  1. Container Specifications. Waste storage containers shall comply with the following specifications:
    1. Residential. Residential waste containers, whether they be reusable, portable containers or heavy-duty disposable garbage bags, shall be not more than thirty-three (33) gallons in capacity, and shall be leakproof and waterproof. The total weight of any container and contents shall not exceed sixty (60) pounds. Disposable containers shall be kept securely fastened and shall be of sufficient strength to maintain integrity when lifted, and reusable containers shall be in conformity with the following:
      1. Be fitted with a fly-tight lid which shall be kept in place except when depositing or removing the contents of the container;
      2. Have handles, bails or other suitable lifting devices or features;
      3. Be of a type originally manufactured for the storage of residential waste with tapered sides for easy emptying;
      4. Be of lightweight and sturdy construction.

        Galvanized metal containers, rubber or fiberglass containers and plastic containers which do not become brittle in cold weather may be used.

    2. Commercial. Every person owning, managing, operating, leasing or renting any commercial premises where an excessive amount of refuse accumulates and where its storage in portable containers as required above is impractical, shall maintain metal bulk storage containers approved by the City.
  2. Storage of Containers. Residential solid waste containers shall be stored upon the residential premises. Commercial solid waste containers shall be stored upon private property, unless the owner has been granted written permission from the City to use public property for such purposes. The storage site shall be well drained; fully accessible to collection equipment, public health personnel and fire inspection personnel. All owners of residential and commercial premises shall be responsible for proper storage of all garbage and yard waste to prevent materials from being blown or scattered around neighboring yards and streets.
  3. Location of Containers for Collection. Containers for the storage of solid waste awaiting collection shall be placed outdoors at some easily accessible place by the owner or occupant of the premises served.
  4. Nonconforming Containers. Solid waste placed in containers which are not in compliance with the provisions of this section will not be collected.


It is unlawful for any person to:

  1. Unlawful Use of Containers. Deposit refuse in any solid waste containers not owned by such person without the written consent of the owner of such containers.
  2. Interfere with Collectors. Interfere in any manner with solid waste collection equipment or with solid waste collectors in the lawful performance of their duties as such, whether such equipment or collectors be those of the City, or those of any other authorized waste collection service.
  3. Incinerators. Burn rubbish or garbage except in incinerators designed for high temperature operation, in which solid, semisolid, liquid or gaseous combustible refuse is ignited and burned efficiently, and from which the solid residues contain little or no combustible material, as acceptable to the Environmental Protection Commission.
  4. Scavenging. Take or collect any solid waste which has been placed out for collection on any premises, unless such person is an authorized solid waste collector.