How to properly dispose of sandbags in Cedar Rapids

Rules and drop-off sites established for residents and businesses

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Plans for businesses and residents to dispose of sandbags have been released. Here are the details:



• Residents can dispose of sandbags in the parking lot at Noelridge Aquatic Center, 1248 42nd St. NE, beginning at 7 a.m. Friday.

• A second disposal location opens near the tennis courts at Ellis Park, 2200 Ellis Boulevard NW, at 7 a.m. Saturday. That location is currently blocked by a temporary berm, so residents should check the city website and social media websites to confirm it is open.

There is no cost to drop off sandbags.

Those looking to lend a hand are invited to volunteer their time at either sandbag disposal location.

• For those unable to take sandbags to these locations, city officials still are working on plans to pick up sandbags at people’s homes. Tentatively, the plan is to offer a two-week collection period beginning Monday, Oct. 10.


Businesses have different instructions, and the directions vary based on location.

Commercial properties in general are responsible for collection and disposal of their sandbags or hiring a contractor to do so. Those with a planned collection can leave sandbags on the curb for up to 24 hours.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is coordinating the removal of sandbags for businesses in downtown, Kingston Village, Czech Village and NewBo. This covers the vast majority of affected businesses in the evacuation zone, but not all.

The Economic Alliance has coordinated four sites for free sandbag drop-offs from businesses. The sites open at 7 a.m. Friday for commercial properties outside the evacuation zone and at noon for commercial properties inside the current evacuation zone.

The sites are to remain open through at least Friday, Oct. 7. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Here are details:

 East side of downtown — Drop-off area is at the site of the former Sixth Street Alliant Energy power plant between the Quaker Oats and Cargill plants. DIRECTIONS: Take Fourth Street SE to Stickle Drive. Turn left on Stickle Drive to cross the railroad tracks and take an immediate right into the gravel driveway alongside the tracks. Follow the drive to the marked drop site. NOTE: Fifth Street SE is reserved for grain trucks going to Cargill.

• NewBo — A portion of the parking lot east of The National, located at the intersection of 12th Avenue and Third Street SE. Vehicles should enter from 12th Avenue SE between Third and Fourth streets SE. After unloading, exit onto Fourth Street SE.

• Czech Village — The parking lot behind the shops on 16th Avenue SW. Take A Street or C Street SW to 17th Avenue to access the parking lot.

• Kingston Village — The parking lot under Interstate 380, bordered by Second and Third avenues SW and L Street SW. Take Second Avenue SW westbound and turn left into the lot. After unloading, leave by turning left onto Third Avenue SW.

Those dropping off bags are advised to check in with those monitoring the stations. They are to direct the unloading process and record basic contact information. People are urged to notify the monitors if the bags were inundated by sewer backups or overland water, so those bags can be stacked separately.

Doug Neumann, interim president of the Economic Alliance, said officials are working on a plan to reuse the sandbags, which may include providing the sand at no cost to developers looking for fill material.

Waste Removal

While garbage removal should return to a normal schedule in the evacuation zone next week, sandbags should not go in curbside waste collection bins because the city garbage trucks can’t handle that weight, officials said.

Two additional 35-gallon bags can be placed at the curb for no charge.

Residents are asked to place flood debris into four separate piles at the curb:

• Drywall, carpet, and other household flood debris.

• Household hazardous materials like oil-based paints and stains, automotive fluids and cleaning supplies.

• Appliances.

• Electronics.

The city has also provided a guide to reusing sand around the house.

For all of The Gazette's Flood 2016 coverage, please visit our flood coverage center.

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