Lincoln residents can now recycle their leftover food

'Waste to Energy Lincoln' has been in place since 2015 in partnership with Lincoln Public Schools, but has quickly evolved to include clients outside of the school system.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A local garbage collection company is inviting Lincoln residents to recycle their leftover food.

The Uribe Refuse ‘Waste to Energy Lincoln’ food waste program has been in place since 2015 in partnership with Lincoln Public Schools, but has quickly evolved to include clients outside of the school system.

Melissa Mercier, who is the director of organics and sustainability with Waste to Energy Lincoln, says there are several benefits to recycling food.

“We don’t think of it as waste, we think of it as resources,” she said. “And so by composting, we take those nutrients that are in our organic material and break it down back into those kind of fundamental nutrients, and then we can put that back into the soil, and we can grow food out of it.”

Mercier says composting also improves soil health which can help reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“There’s a lot of food waste out there that’s not currently being captured,” Mercier said. “So it’s going to take a combination of all of the solutions, composting, anaerobic digestion, for us to really make a large impact on food waste issues.”

Those participating in the program are given two designated food waste containers. Garbage collectors pick up the food waste once a week. When the food waste truck is full, it is driven to a facility in Firth where it is composted.

“It’s been really positive, there’s definitely a lot of excitement and a lot of engagement in the area,” Mercier said.

You can learn more about the Waste to Energy Lincoln program here.

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