The Buena Vista County Solid Waste Commission was formed in 1972 to comply with a new state law addressing Solid Waste disposal. The law required the establishment of a sanitary disposal project for each city, town, and county by July 1975. Buena Vista County Solid Waste would operate the landfill to comply with that law and all open dumps operating in the county were closed. The commission operates under the provisions of Chapter 28E, Code of Iowa.
The duties of the commission are to provide economical disposal and/or collection and disposal of all solid waste generated within Buena Vista County. It also is to cooperate with local, state, and federal public health agencies to protect the land, water, and air.
In 1989, The Waste Reduction and Recycling Act required every city and county in Iowa to establish a recycling program in order to reduce the amount of waste being landfilled. The goal was to reduce waste by 25% by 1994 and 50% by 2000. The 25% goal turned into a mandate with higher fees being the penalty if not met. Base numbers were set according to the figures from 1988. In 1990, the commission opened the Harold Rowley Recycle Center or Buena Vista County Recycle Center to process recyclables for the residents and businesses of Buena Vista County.
In 2007, new rules were placed on all landfills operating in Iowa which would result in the closure of Buena Vista County’s Landfill. At that time the commission had exhausted all attempts to find a suitable site for a new landfill and the current landfill site had reached capacity. On October 1, 2007, the Buena Vista County Landfill was closed. The commission will monitor that site according to Iowa law for the next 30 years.
Currently, all waste in Buena Vista County is still managed by the commission pursuant to the Code of Iowa. All waste is delivered to the Recycle Center/Transfer Station location and transferred to the Carroll County Landfill and disposed of according to county, state, and federal guidelines.