Waste Reduction, Reuse And Recycling Grant Program

In FY 2017-2018, the Solid Waste Management Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department will distribute up to $40,000 through a competitive grant process. The purpose of this program is to assist political jurisdictions, schools, non-profit organizations and businesses implement innovative waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs that significantly reduce the waste stream destined for land disposal.

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Grant Timeline

Grant Application Deadline
October 2, 2017
Grant Awards Letters Mailed
December 31, 2017

2017 Awarded Grants

Lincoln Public Schools - $20,000

Expands current project in which 22 schools have been diverting their food waste to Prairieland Dairy. A total of 20 more schools would be added for a total of 42 schools participating. City Grant funds would be used to off-set personnel costs in organizing the expansion of the program as well as purchase compostable can liners and hand-held digital scales that LPS janitorial staff would use to determine the average weight of organic waste generated and diverted from the landfill. It is estimated that approximately 280 additional tons of organic waste will be diverted from the landfill annually by adding 20 more schools to the program.

Nebraska Farmers Union, Big Red Worms - $12,000

Vermicomposting program began in August 2015 and is currently collecting 44,000 pounds of food waste per month. The grant would allow Big Red Worms to purchase equipment to mechanically mix the organic food waste with carbon to properly achieve the carbon-nitorgen ration to begin the composting process. The purchase of the equipment will reduce labor costs and double the amount of material processed to 88,000 pounds per month. This would represent a total of 528 tons of material diverted from the landfill annually.

Nebraska Recycling Council (Formerly WasteCap Nebraska) - $8,000

The Nebraska Recycling Council will produce three two-page business reference guides containing sequential steps for creating a recycling program and a brief case study highlighting a Lincoln business that already has a successful recycling program. Three sectors will be targeted: schools, offices and restaurant/bars. The guides will contain links to resources such as education and training of employees, forming green teams, identifying service providers, creating RFPs, and becoming zero waste certified. The guides will be available in digital form as well as distributed to industry groups such as the, the Nebraska Restaurant Association, and the Building Owners and Managers’ Association (BOMA). Online and social media marketing will be utilized as well as emailed newsletters that will highlight the guides, which will also be available in digital form.

2016 Awarded Grants

Central States Reprocessing - $5,250

Purchase a Non-ferrous Metal Separator ($8,000) to remove non-ferrous metals from PVC and HDPE home siding. City Grant funds totaled $5,250. Currently they recycle 125 tons of PVC and post- industrial plastics per month. Estimate that the new equipment will add another 200 tons of plastics diverted from the landfill.

Nebraska Farmers Union, Big Red Worms - $14,750

Vermicomposting program began in August 2015 and is currently collecting 21,460 pounds of food waste per month from various sources. Big Red Worms has the capacity to process about 44,100 pounds of food waste and horse bedding and manure per month (265 tons/year). Grant would upgrade their facility to handle more organic waste from schools, charitable organizations and commercial establishments. The upgrade is primarily in the receiving area where food waste and horse bedding and manure are mixed. The receiving area needs to be regraded and have a concrete pad poured with bunker walls and drainage installed to reduce potential runoff issues and increase the efficiency of their operation. Total Grant award was $14,750.

Lincoln Public Schools - $20,000

Expands current project in which 13 schools have been diverting their food waste to Prairieland Dairy. Three schools would be added in spring of 2016 and six in the fall semester of 2016. Based on pilot project it is estimated that adding 9 additional schools will divert an additional 132 tons of organic waste increasing the annual total tons diverted from the landfill 63% to a total of 341 tons of organic waste during the next year for all the participating schools. The organic waste is primarily transported to Prairieland Dairy composting operation for composting, however LPS is also working with a trial project of an anaerobic digester developed by Waste to Energy Lincoln and Nebraska Farmers Union that is developing a vermicomposting facility in Lincoln. Total grant award was $20,000 to cover personnel costs as well as materials and supplies.

2015 Awarded Grants

In 2015, Solid Waste Management awarded three grants for commercial and construction waste reduction and recycling projects. A summary of those grants is below.

EcoStores Nebraska - $20,000

EcoStores will work with 5 local property owners and construction companies to identify a construction project as a case study for diversion of waste from landfill disposal. EcoStores will work with each firm to develop guidelines and employee training on the separation of reusable building waste. They will develop “best practices” for management of construction waste for the recycling options available in the Lincoln area. Based on working with these firms they will develop recommendations for changes in public and private policies and practices as well as improvements in reporting and communication among stakeholders.

Lincoln Public Schools - $13,100

Expands current pilot project in which 3 schools have been diverting their food waste to Prairieland Dairy for composting. Based on the pilot project adding food waste composting to these schools has successfully diverted 65% of the cafeteria waste. There is an average of 0.5 pounds of food waste generated per student per day. With the grant funds provided by the City nine elementary schools were added to the composting collection program in the spring of 2015. The project will divert an estimated 189 tons of food waste from the landfill. Grant funds will be used to purchase materials and supplies for the expansion of the composting program to the 9 elementary schools.

WasteCap Nebraska - $7,000

The restaurant pilot project will work with a group of restaurants with shared needs that can identify challenges, barriers and opportunities for the development of a recycling and composting program within their facilities. The pilot project will also develop employee training materials for restaurant employees on recycling and composting and expand compostable collection in Lincoln. The project will focus on one square block in the west Haymarket area (7th – 8th Streets and P – Q Streets). There are six restaurants located on the block. These businesses all share one back alley area where there is a shared compactor and some shared recycling already taking place. A waste assessment will be performed to estimate the amount of material that could be diverted through a recycling and composting program.