Recycle! Lincoln is an initiative to increase recycling opportunities that expand the local economy and reduce the need for expensive landfill expansions.
The 2040 Solid Waste Plan established a goal for Lincoln and Lancaster County to reduce the amount of waste disposed per capita in landfills. An action plan was developed to work toward these waste reduction goals. The action steps include:
- Expanding and enhancing recycling education
- Requiring waste haulers to offer recycling services
- Requiring recycling collectors/processors to report amount recycled annually
- Assisting businesses establish new or expanded recycling programs through grant funding and technical assistance
- Prohibiting corrugated cardboard from being disposed of in the Bluff Road Landfill
Lincoln’s Waste Disposal Reduction Goals
from the 2040 Solid Waste Plan
- 10% by 2018
- 20% by 2025
- 30% by 2040
The corrugated cardboard ban, effective April 1, 2018, will be a contributing factor to achieving waste disposal reduction goals.
Corrugated cardboard is defined as three or more layers of paper with at least one layer of rippled, or corrugated, paper. It is the largest single recyclable disposed of in the Bluff Road Landfill, making up 9.5% of the waste that haulers take to the landfill. Corrugated cardboard will now be treated similarly to other materials banned from the landfill, such as diverting tires, batteries, appliances, and yard waste (seasonally).
There are significant benefits, locally and globally, to recycling right and recycling often.
Locally, recycling reduces the need for expensive landfill expansions by saving landfill space, generating material sales revenue, and creating local jobs. Globally, recycling helps conserve natural resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Essentials to Recycle Right
- Know the recycling guidelines
- Empty and clean food/beverage containers
- Only recycle acceptable materials
Frequently Asked Questions
When will the landfill ban on corrugated cardboard take effect?
The corrugated cardboard disposal ban will begin April 1, 2018.
What type of cardboard will be banned from disposal in the Bluff Road Landfill?
Corrugated cardboard will be banned from disposal in the Bluff Road Landfill. However, corrugated cardboard soiled with food wastes/oils, or that is completely wet, can be disposed of at the landfill.
What is corrugated cardboard?
Corrugated cardboard is defined as three or more layers of paper with at least one layer of rippled (corrugated) paper.
Why target corrugated cardboard?
Corrugated cardboard is the largest single recyclable material disposed of in the Bluff Road Landfill, making up roughly 9.5% of the waste that haulers take to the landfill. It is also a recyclable material that has both a high commodity value and a stable endmarket.
Who will be affected by the disposal ban on corrugated cardboard?
Everyone who has their waste hauled to the Bluff Road Landfill will affected by the disposal ban.
What should a resident do with corrugated cardboard?
- Reuse it, if possible.
- Recycle it at one of the public recycling drop-off sites.
- Sign up for a recycling collection service.
Can corrugated cardboard that has wood or Styrofoam glued to it be placed in the trash?
Yes, if the wood or Styrofoam cannot be separated from the corrugated cardboard.
What other communities have prohibited cardboard from landfill disposal?
Lincoln is the first community in Nebraska to ban the disposal of corrugated cardboard in its landfill. In neighboring states, Linn County (Cedar Rapids), IA, Fort Collins, CO and Sioux Falls, SD have banned the disposal of cardboard. The states of California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Vermont have banned the disposal of cardboard.
What will it cost to recycle corrugated cardboard?
There is no charge to recycle cardboard at a public recycling drop-off site. Recycling collectors will charge a fee for collecting recyclables at your home or business. Costs may vary between recycling collectors. Recycling collection subscription fees for a household could range from $7 to $12 per month.
Do public recycling drop-off sites have enough capacity to handle increased volumes of corrugated cardboard?
Larger containers will be placed at drop-off sites, and the containers will be emptied more often to ensure residents can recycle their cardboard.
Can a business take corrugated cardboard boxes to one of the recycling drop-off sites?
The recycling drop-off sites are for the benefit of residents. Businesses should contact recycling collectors to sign up for collection services,or take corrugated cardboard and other recyclables directly to recycling processors.
How will the corrugated cardboard disposal ban be enforced?
Waste haulers have an obligation to ensure they are not placing recyclable corrugated cardboard in their trucks destined for the Bluff Road Landfill. Personnel at the landfill will monitor the wastes brought to the landfill and require any recyclable corrugated cardboard to be removed. If a driver does not remove recyclable corrugated cardboard before arriving at the landfill, they will have the opportunity to personally remove it from their load into containers at the landfill or be assessed an unacceptable load fee of $100.
Will a resident be ticketed if they place corrugated cardboard in the trash?
A resident will not be ticketed directly by the City. Residents should check with their waste hauler to determine if the hauler will charge additional fees if recyclable corrugated cardboard is found in the trash.
Will a landlord or business be ticketed if someone dumps corrugated cardboard in the trash container at their property or worksite?
Landlords and businesses should contact their waste haulers to determine if they will be charged additional fees if recyclable corrugated cardboard is found in the trash containers. The City will not directly ticket landlords or businesses.