Mayor introduces recycling ordinance

Posted by: Abigail Wood

More than a thousand people in Lincoln signed a petition for a new plan that works to bring Lincoln up to the times in recycling, and the city listened. The city wants to recycle more trash, so starting in April of next year they’re banning industrial cardboard from the landfill then in 2018, newsprint, and by 2019, all paper products. For Paul Jarett, who owns a local health start-up, Bulu Box, it’s about time Lincoln got into the recycling game.

"The start-up community, such as Bulu Box and other places in the city, are growing, and we’re attracting talent, we’re trying to retain talent from the university," Jarett said.

The city’s new ordinance will also help teach people how they can recycle in Lincoln, hoping to double Lincoln’s recycling rate by 2020. Jarett says the current programs are frankly embarrassing. 

"I had an investor come in from…Denmark, and they asked for recycling in our office and I had to tell him I didn’t have it and the person actually crumpled the plastic bottle and put it in his back pocket," he said.

So how much will this cost? Since there is less in the landfill, you’re going to have to pay an extra $o.85 a year on your garage bill to cover what the cardboard used to. Also, all waste companies will have to provide curbside recycling next April. If you choose the service, that will also cost you extra.

"We’re prepared, all the haulers, to take this on," said Jim Klein with Lincoln Solid Waste and Recycling. "We have the equipment."

The mayor says the goal is to keep Lincoln clean for the next generation, and train them to take care of it, too. The plan won’t go into effect until April 2017 to allow time for people to learn about it and adapt. Today, 42 percent of waste sent to the landfill could be recycled. The new ordinance will be introduced at city council next Monday.