- Lincoln, NE Mayor Chris Beutler hopes to offer a community recycling model early in 2016, based on recommendations of two groups representing the solid waste industry and environmentalists. Key recommendations include diverting corrugated cardboard from the landfill and requiring garbage haulers to offer residential and commercial curbside recycling.
- The city may also ban paper and newspaper from the landfill, which, with cardboard, comprise one-third of Lincoln’s landfill waste, according to Beulter Chief of Staff Rick Hoppe. Other highlighted suggestions include a comprehensive educational program and requiring haulers to provide data to determine recycling progress.
- Currently, more than 86,500 tons of recyclables go to Lincoln’s landfill each year, worth about $6.7 million, said Donna Garden, assistant director of public works and utilities. If stakeholders approve a government-private partnership, the city would join forces with private haulers and recyclers, while continuing its 28 recycling sites that now take in around 4,810 tons of material annually.
Curbside recycling has grown, even with no city requirement, as more waste haulers have begun offering this service. So the city is hopeful that greater expectations will be well received if they are economically feasible, paired with consumer education, and convenient.
Banning corrugated cardboard alone would meet the proposed recycling goal, Garden said. About 19,400 tons of corrugated cardboard are dumped at landfill annually.
Fort Collins, CO now requires businesses to recycle corrugated cardboard, and the mandate proved cost-efficient. Not only is it cheaper than landfilling it, but some companies say cardboard is one of their most profitable commodities.
The original task force recommended the city reduce all landfill waste to 1,895 pounds per capita by 2018, which was about 1,970 pounds per person in 2014.