Mayor Chris Beutler announced today that 50,000 pounds of toxic materials were collected during the first year of operation of Lincoln's Hazardous Waste Center. The facility at 5101 N. 48th Street is operated by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) and serves Lincoln and Lancaster County residents at no charge as well as qualifying small businesses for a fee. Mayor Beutler also helped kick off the new "HazToGo" campaign to increase awareness of the facility. Information is available at haztogo.com.
"Residents are becoming more aware that unwanted hazardous materials do not belong in our homes, our businesses or our landfill," Mayor Beutler said. "Having a permanent facility is helping us to reach our goal of diverting at least 100,000 pounds of toxic material from the landfill annually. And as people see the HazToGo slogan on billboards and in social media, they will be reminded that all of us need to do our part to make sure toxic materials are disposed of properly."
Construction of the facility was funded by the City with support from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and the Nebraska Environmental Trust. The Center has served 736 residents since it opened. In addition to the waste collected at the center, nearly 38,000 pounds of hazardous waste was collected during the year at mobile collection events. That brings the total to about 88,000 pounds, 13,000 more pounds than the previous year.
Shavonna Lausterer, LLCHD Health Director, said an NDEQ grant provided funding to rebrand and promote the center. "Our mission is to protect and to promote the public's health," she said. "That is exactly what Lincoln's Hazardous Waste Center is all about -- getting toxic and hazardous chemicals out of people's homes, acreages and garages, reducing the risk of poisonings, injuries, fires and spills."
The Center accepts household hazardous waste by appointment only on the first Wednesday and the third Saturday of each month. The Center accepts the same waste items collected at the mobile events, such as pesticides, old gasoline, cleaning products, aerosol containers and items containing mercury. For appointments and a full list of accepted and non-accepted items, visit haztogo.com or call 402-441-8021.