Local group looking to improve recycling - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Local group looking to improve recycling

Local group looking to improve recycling

Posted: Updated:

Posted By: Rachel Hofstra
rhofstra@klkntv.com

(Press Release)

RECYCLE LINCOLN PETITION DRIVE SEEKS 
TO DOUBLE LINCOLN’S RECYCLING RATE
 
City Council member Jane Raybould and Nebraska League of Conservation Voters (NLCV) Deputy Director Chelsea Johnson today announced that a petition drive has been started to bring the City’s Recycle Lincoln ordinance to a public vote in May.  Petitions will be available to sign at the 48th & O Super Saver, the 27th and Pine Lake Super Saver and the Russ’s Market at 33rd and Highway 2 starting this weekend. 
 
The Recycle Lincoln petition drive needs to collect petition signatures from 7,760 of Lincoln’s registered voters by mid February in order to place the issue on the May 2017 election ballot.
 
“Doubling Lincoln’s recycling rate is as simple as signing your name,” said Johnson. “ Over 42 percent of what enters Lincoln’s landfill from haulers is readily recyclable. Lincoln can do better. By simply diverting cardboard, newsprint, and paper away from the landfill over the next three years, we will double Lincoln’s recycling rate. Signing a petition to get the issue on the ballot is the important first step.”
 
“As both a business leader and a City Council member, I know that recycling is smart business,” Raybould said. “It saves our company money by getting value for materials that we would otherwise have to pay to throw in the landfill. That’s why over 40 Lincoln businesses and organizations gave their support to expand recycling in the community. They know that the Recycle Lincoln is good business for the City.  It will encourage recycling and create new business for our local waste haulers and new jobs.”
 
Johnson said it doesn’t make sense to bury items that have recycling value. “It is expensive and wasteful to expand Lincoln’s landfill when nearly half of the waste in the landfill can be recycled,” she said.
 
Raybould’s company, B&R Stores, will serve as signature collection points. “We believe in this effort so strongly that Russ’s Markets and Super Savers will be points where Lincoln’s registered voters can sign the Recycle Lincoln petition,” Raybould said.
 
The petition campaign coordinator, Garret Swanson, is confident that the drive will be successful. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Despite the fact we couldn’t get started until after the November election, we have already collected 1,000 signatures. Recycling is clearly important to Lincoln residents,” Swanson said.
 
The petition seeks to enact a City ordinance with the following provisions:
 
*Cardboard would no longer be accepted at the City landfill beginning April 1st, 2018. Newsprint would not be accepted starting April 1st, 2019. All other types of paper would not be accepted starting April 1st, 2020.
 
*Licensed waste haulers would be required to provide curbside recycling. Residents would not be required to subscribe.  Residents that do not subscribe can take their recyclables to the 28 recycling centers throughout the City.  The number of cardboard bins at the City’s free recycling drop off sites would be increased.
 
*Recycling collectors and waste haulers would report annually on recycling materials collected and recycling customers served to measure progress.
 
A majority of the Lincoln City Council passed only a portion of the ordinance in early August. Mayor Chris Beutler vetoed the measure, saying the action gutted the ordinance and that it was recycling progress in name only.
 
Raybould said the provisions of the petition ordinance are virtually identical to the version introduced to the City Council by Mayor Beutler with one exception.  There will be no criminal charges or penalties for putting cardboard in the trash. Recyclables will be stopped at the landfill from entering the facility. Haulers will either have to separate recyclables or pay a fee to have landfill staff do it. No Lincoln business or resident will receive a ticket.
 
“You can help us do what’s right for Lincoln by signing your name to the Recycle Lincoln petition. Together, we can make difference for Lincoln’s environmental future,” Raybould concluded.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Lincoln can do better," said Chelsea Johnson.

The League of Conservation Voters is getting signatures to make a change. They say more than 42 percent of what enters Lincoln’s landfill could be recycled.

"It doesn't make sense to bury items that have recycling value. It's expensive and wasteful to expand Lincoln’s landfill when nearly half of the waste in the landfill can be recycled," said Johnson.

So the League of Conservation Voters is getting signatures to make a change. It hopes to get the Recycle Lincoln ordinance on the May 2017 ballot.

If it passes, cardboard, newsprint, and paper would no longer be accepted at the city landfill. Instead the trash haulers would leave the recyclable items at your home and a note stating to take it to a local recycling center.

"We do it to prolong the life of the landfill, because that's something that we will all have to pay for if we have to expand the landfill," said Jane Raybould.

There are 28 free recycling centers in Lincoln you can take your recycling to or you can pay around 7 to 12 dollars a month to have it picked up.

"There are no penalties; there will be no fines for those who co-mingle the cardboard in the regular trash," said Raybould.

The group says by diverting cardboard and paper away from the landfill, over the next three years it would double Lincolns recycling rate.

So far they have 1,000 signatures, but need over 7,000 to get the issue on the ballot. Recycle Lincoln has until mid February to get the signatures.

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