Lincoln is one of 7 cities to receive funding to put wood waste to use

$400,000 will go to the production of biochar
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln will receive up to $400,000 in funding and technical support from Bloomberg Philanthropies for a project that will turn wood waste into biochar.

Biochar is a carbon-rich, charcoal-like substance that promotes plant growth, water retention, fertilizer reduction, carbon sequestration, waste management and soil health.

Lincoln is one of seven cities in the U.S. and Europe chosen to develop a biochar project that was first successfully demonstrated in Stockholm.

Lincoln’s plan is to recycle wood waste, including trees removed due to the emerald ash borer.  The biochar will be used to support tree plantings, urban agriculture, public gardens, composting and stormwater treatment.

“On behalf of the City of Lincoln, I want to thank Bloomberg Philanthropies for their generous support of our efforts to advance key goals of our Climate Action Plan and Resilient Lincoln initiative,” Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said.

The grant is also helping the city explore biochar’s potential for agricultural carbon credits, recovery and resale of energy byproducts, and direct sale to gardeners and farmers.

Lincoln will build its first biochar production facility by working closely with the Nebraska Forest Service, the University of Nebraska and other stakeholders. The city is currently completing a feasibility study and design work for the facility, which is scheduled to be operational by the summer of 2023.

The forest service will contribute an additional $100,000 to the initiative.

The other cities participating in the biochar initiative are Cincinnati; Minneapolis; Darmstadt, Germany; Helsingborg, Sweden; Sandnes, Norway; and Helsinki.

In total, the projects are expected to produce 3,750 tons of biochar, which would sequester almost 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking 6,250 cars off the roads every year.

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