City of Iowa City Recycling presents screening of ‘The Age of Consequences’ in honor of Earth Day

The Age of Consequences

Iowa City Public Library — Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m.

Landfill Open House

Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center — Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m.

2016 documentary ‘The Age of Consequences.’ — video still

On Thursday, April 19, City of Iowa City Recycling is taking over meeting rooms A, B and C at the Iowa City Public Library to offer a free screening of 2016 environmental documentary The Age of Consequences. Popcorn and treats will be provided, and attendees will be invited to take home a free kitchen compost container. The recycling department makes a point to show several environmental films each year to engage the public, Recycling Coordinator Jane Wilch said in an email.

“Our goal is to show a variety of films to tap into different interests or topics for our community to learn about,” Wilch said of the choice to present Age of Consequences, in which filmmaker Jared P. Scott looks at the ways that climate change interacts with underlying social unrest to cause additional conflicts in times of war. “Environmental protection can be looked at through many different lenses, and we want to honor the many perspectives and viewpoints that our community has on why it is important to take care of our environment and climate. National security is one lens.”

Wilch continued, “We also encourage thinking about how environmental protection efforts can reduce waste, save energy, save money, save time, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, etc.”

After the screening, there will be staff available to answer questions from attendees about waste reduction and environmental protection efforts and opportunities in Iowa City. Wilch said the city’s greatest waste reduction challenge currently is food waste.

“Over 25% of what goes into the Iowa City Landfill is food waste. This is not only a local issue, it’s an issue across the state of Iowa, and an issue throughout our nation,” she said, citing a 2017 waste sort that the city conducted at the landfill. In contrast, she said, the last sort, in 2011, showed only 15 percent food waste. “That means we have seen a 10% increase in food ending up in the landfill. This is actually with an increase in our composting program, more community outreach on food waste reduction, and the addition of curbside composting in recent years,” Wilch noted.

In addition to tonight’s film screening, the recycling department is hosting an Earth Day Landfill Open House at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center (3900 Hebl Ave SW) on Sunday, April 22, from 2-5 p.m.

Wilch said she is using the data from the landfill waste sorts to develop and expand the department’s outreach and education efforts. The first goal is to reduce the amount of food waste that is produced, which encourages people to be more deliberate about eating the food that they buy, which not only helps the environment, but saves money. This is just one way that people can incorporate environmental awareness into their day-to-day lives.

“Earth Day is important to honor because it reminds us why we need to protect our planet,” Wilch said. “The thing that I want to stress is that while it is great to have a lot of environmental protection efforts in April, it is important to have environmental protection as a priority throughout the year.”