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The Des Moines City Council is considering new rules that benefit drivers who are towed, but some are concerned they may burden businesses.
Driving the news: Council member Josh Mandelbaum last week suggested two new ordinances that he said offer protections for drivers who are privately towed.
Des Moines is embracing electric cars as its first choice to replace old vehicles as they're retired from the city's fleet, according to its finance director.
Why it matters: Des Moines has about three dozen trash trucks that accounted for almost half of the city's total diesel use (437K gallons) last year.
Grimes is decommissioning its wastewater treatment plant and plans to join the Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) next year, the utility's director told the Des Moines City Council last week.
Why it matters: It's going to help save locals money.
Context: The WRA is a regional utility of 17 governments or sewer districts, including DSM, WDM and Ankeny.
👃 Get a whiff of this: Grimes' 1970s treatment plant has nearly reached its capacity and has been emitting unpleasant smells, according to a city Q&A.
By the numbers: The WRA's annual operating budget is around $56.2 million.
The bottom line: Residents probably won't see a reduction in their utility bills, but Grimes' participation sharing WRA's expenses will help reduce pressure on future rates, utility director Scott Hutchens told Axios.
💭 Our thought bubble: The WRA demonstrates the power of regional cooperation.
Gas created during wastewater treatment is now making a regional utility in Des Moines an estimated $5 million a year, its director said in a public presentation last week.
Why it matters: We always knew our $#!+ was worth something. Now it's finally helping us pay the bills.
How it works: Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) recently completed a $20 million project to capture and clean the biogases produced during water treatment.
Between the lines: The multi-year project went online late last year and generates the equivalent volume of gas used daily in 5,500 average U.S. homes.
The big picture: "Sludge-to-energy" systems are being adopted around the world as technology advances and utilities discover they can reduce pollution and create new revenue, according to research group World Resources Institute.