Mayor Chris Beutler and community leaders today launched an effort to make Lincoln a cleaner, greener City by doubling the community's recycling rate by 2020. The effort, called Recycle Lincoln!, is being led by Paul Jarrett of Bulu Box; Chelsea Johnson of the League of Conservation Voters; Marc LeBaron of Lincoln Industries; and City Council member Jane Raybould of B&R Stores.
"Although the effort has just begun, these four are already joined by over 30 Lincoln businesses and organizations who want our community to achieve the goal of doubling our recycling rate," Beutler said. "Recycle Lincoln! will strive to make Lincoln a more recycling-friendly City through educational campaigns, responsible City ordinances and expanded availability of recycling services."
Individuals, organizations and businesses can show their support for the City's recycling goal by signing the online petition at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: Recycle Lincoln).
Beutler said 42 percent of what currently goes into the landfill can be recycled. And he said recycling does more than help the environment. "Recycling reduces the need to expand public landfills, reducing pressure on our taxpayers," he said. "Recycling has other economic benefits. Some companies have made recycling part of their business model. They demonstrate every day that recycling can work for Lincoln."
"I'm proud of the progress Lincoln is making right now," said Jarrett, "but frankly, it's embarrassing when we recruit talent from the West and East coasts, to talk about how Lincoln and the Midwest are innovative in our own right, then they notice that we don't have basic recycling options at our airport, in our office or our homes."
"Lincoln does not live up to its standard of excellence when it comes to recycling," said Johnson. "As a whole, Nebraska lags behind other states in our recycling rate, and in Lincoln 42 percent of the waste that goes to the landfill is readily recyclable. We can do better. We can and we should double Lincoln's recycling rate."
"Businesses can be the real leaders in recycling because of our ability to touch so many of the people in the community," said LeBaron. "By setting the example at work, we can support and encourage recycling across the community."
"Our stores have been baling cardboard for 40 years," Raybould said. "It just makes good business sense."
Yard waste, tires and appliances are already banned from the landfill. The City is considering a proposed ordinance that would ban corrugated cardboard from the landfill in 2017. Newsprint and other recyclable paper would be banned in the future.