Lincoln, NE has drafted a proposed ordinance that would ban certain recyclables from landfill, allow consumers to drop recyclables at one of 28 free recycling sites or pay for curbside pickup, which all waste haulers would be required to offer, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Residents who do not separate materials could face misdemeanor charges.
Many waste haulers have already begun offering recycling to prepare. Companies are seeing the recycling customer base "growing like dandelions," according to Steve Hatten, who owns Paragon Sanitation.
Cardboard, newsprint and paper would be banned in April 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively. Styrofoam, plastics and glass are currently excluded.
Lincoln and Lancaster Counties earmark $40,000 every year for waste reduction and recycling, and as Lincoln leverages its piece of the pie it means business, planning on good returns. Banning paper would cut landfill waste by 28%, according to Donna Garden, deputy director for the Public Works and Utilities Department as reported in Yankton Daily Press.
City leaders are also carving out a plan for the more than 86,500 tons of recyclables that go to Lincoln’s landfill each year, worth about $6.7 million.