Posted on September 14, 2023

VR Game

Sept. 14, 2023 – Metro Waste Authority is introducing two exciting new education initiatives – virtual reality  field trips and an online simulation game – to support accessible, STEM-based learning.

“Education is a key focus for the agency,” said Metro Waste Authority Executive Director Michael McCoy. “These new initiatives aim to expand upon our educational offerings to reach even more learners and get them excited about sustainability, the impact of waste and safe, smart disposal at an early age.” 

Through the agency’s new virtual reality field trip program, learners can take immersive field trips to various Metro Waste Authority locations where the agency handles garbage, recycling and hazardous waste from households across the region.

Kits are free for teachers in eligible communities* to reserve, and each virtual reality experience supports Iowa core curriculum.

“The plug-and-play kits require no internet and come with supplemental resources like work pages and multimedia resources, supporting accessible learning regardless of barriers like travel and budget,” said McCoy.

In addition to the virtual reality kits, Metro Waste Authority also created an online game that gives learners first-hand experience of the complexity of managing waste with fun simulations.

Through the EcoVille simulation game, players can navigate managing a landfill and establishing recycling programs, all while learning about local guidelines.

These two initiatives, funded by an Environmental Protection Agency grant, are new offerings to a robust education program, which includes community green talks, facility tours, educator workshops, classroom presentations and more.

“Metro Waste Authority is proud to be a resource for the community, and we are thrilled to offer two new innovative learning opportunities to support environmental and STEM-based learning in Central Iowa schools,” said McCoy.

For more information about Metro Waste Authority’s education program and resources, visit, or call 515-244-0021.

*Eligible communities for virtual reality kits include Altoona, Alleman, Ankeny, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Elkhart, Grimes, Hartford, Johnston, Mingo, Mitchellville, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Prairie City, Runnells, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights.