Beginning Sunday, April 1, waste haulers will collect grass and leaves separately from household trash. State law requires grass and leaves be separated from household trash from April 1 until December 1. Residents who subscribe to separate yard waste collection must begin to separate grass and leaves from their household trash after their last waste collection in March.
The separate collection of grass and leaves is provided by local waste haulers for a fee. Those who do not subscribe to the special collection have three options - haul grass and leaves to the 48th Street Transfer Station; hire a lawn service; or mulch and compost grass clippings and leaves. The Lancaster County Extension Office will provide composting workshops in April, May and June. More information is available at lancaster.unl.edu.
This is the 19th year of the City's yard waste composting program. Since fall 1992, the City estimates that more than 255,844 tons of grass and leaves and 110,874 tons of tree trimmings have been diverted to the landfill. The composting program and wood recycling operation have added more than two years to the life of the landfill. This represents more than 1.3 million cubic yards of landfill space with a current value of $11.2 million.
Brian Kurtzer, President of the Lincoln Solid Waste Management Association, said yard wastes must be placed in approved containers: paper yard waste bags available from retailers; 32-gallon containers with tight-fitting lids; or 90-gallon containers provided by waste haulers. City policy does not allow yard waste in plastic bags at the compost facility because the bags do not decompose and cause litter problems. Kurtzer said some waste haulers will empty plastic bags, so residents wanting to use plastic should contact their haulers. The City inspects incoming loads at the Bluff Road Landfill and composting site. If trash is found mixed with yard waste, the City can assess the haulers a $50 fine. Kurtzer said waste haulers may leave containers at the curb if they contain trash mixed with grass and leaves.