Community Comments

Input from the public, businesses, and stakeholders on the Solid Waste Plan 2040 will be posted here throughout the planning process.

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The City of Lincoln reserves the right to refuse to publish and to edit comments for clarity and brevity.

On November 5, 2013, Richard wrote:

I attended the meeting on O st , we have rental prop without garages and if you have small boxes to divide trash , they will blow in the wind or get buried in the snow if left outside, Our suggestion is to pick up trash once a week and put recyclables in one provided by the trash hauler and pick up the trash ever other week at no extra charge can only put large items out on curb 3 times a year and print it in the paper where the area is and let people come with their trucks and pick up what they can use. This works in Germany and has been going on since the 80s works well

On September 10, 2013, Marla wrote:

Hello I live in Roane Co, TN but was recently talking to a Lancaster Co, NE resident. I told him about our local recycling program where once, or twice a year the county will take in partially full cans of paint for recycling. We fill our trunks, drive into the "convenience centers" and volunteers help unload the cars and we are on our ways. It works great.

Does Lancaster Co have such a program? My friend has paint to dispose of and I'm encouraging him to do it in a responsible, equitable manner. I'm excited you have a grand plan. Hope paint recycling is included. Please let me know

Most sincerely

On August 20, 2013, Judy wrote:

I am hopeful you won't make mandatory recycling for those of us who recycle everything we can. Many of my neighbors, including myself, have been recyclers for many years. I do agree there are some who don't recycle anything, and for those it would be a good idea, but please keep in mind that many of us do recycle and have for years and it would be unfair to mandate we pay for recycling services.

On August 19, 2013, John wrote:

Since I was raised in Southern California, where land is premium and waste is plentiful, we recycled everything which could be. And each household was limited to 2 waste barrels of certain dimensions. Probably the biggest action for recycling to date was we were paid for the labor, low as it may be today, bnut per ton, pound everything has a price to it.

On August 15, 2013, anonymous wrote:

Hi, my husband and I attended the open house and he walked out with a lovely glass of ice tea. However I went to dispose of it and noticed that it is a #7 plastic which the City of Lincoln does not recycle. This is ridiculous! It's is not responsible as far as I'm concerned to hold a meeting with these products, unless there has been a change and the City does recycle them now and have poorly put out the information. You should be ashamed of yourself to hold a meeting and do this.

On August 13, 2013, Lynn wrote:

In San Diego they have a recycling program for composting and yard waste where they grind up boxes, paper, anything that will disintegrate and charge for it; it pays for the program plus some. I saw on public television, it was very thorough. For things that don't disintegrate, you should get a city incinerator.

Educate, educate, educate the public (for instance, show pictures of things that will never decompose). The City needs to take a stand and say everything must disintegrate if you send it to the landfill.

Research communities in Europe, like Germany, that do not allow plastic bottles, only glass bottles. In Oklahoma City, they have a program in different sections of town on certain weekends where it is "free put your stuff out on the curb", people go around and get free stuff, and then anything left over the garbage takes.

Need to do something about the toxic liquids going down the drain, how do you govern? Again, educate people on dangers.

Have information on the computer and in the newspaper, conduct contests with neighborhood associations on how well they have cleaned up their neighborhood - celebrate neighborhoods working together and really get the picture.

We need to do something with metals; someplace we need regional meltdown companies, need to start doing that.

On August 11, 2013, Dave wrote:

I am not in favor of mandatory recycling, especially if it is going to cost more money. I have been recycling for over 10 years now. Our garbage collector collects twice a week. If I am lucky I'll have one bag of trash every week. I have contacted them several times on only picking up once a week and they told me it would still cost the same. If the garbage collector will start picking up trash once a week and recyclable once a week for the same price than I am fine with that.

As for your percentages in the newspaper of how much recycling would reduce a household amount, it is way off base. My reduction in waste the last 10 years has been at least 50%. Sure hope you didn't pay those consultants that came up with the numbers in the newspaper too much. If so the taxpayer just recycled more of their money to them.

On August 11, 2013, Greg and Martha wrote:

I have been a tax-paying resident of Lincoln for the past 25 years. My wife has been a life-long, tax-paying resident, so we both have a vested interest in Lincoln and its long-term future.

Here are our thoughts about solid waste recycling, and how it might impact our garbage service:

  1. Currently, there are several options for solid waste recycling. We happen to use the (firm name omitted) service, which we only pay about $5/month. It is an awesome service; every week they come to pick it up, and, unlike some other recycling services, they DO take glass, tin, aluminum, mixed paper, and cardboard. We have used & paid for this service since its inception (3?) years ago.
  2. I believe firmly that you should encourage those who are NOT recycling to recycle, by promoting those firms who recycle the materials you as city managers want recycled. I.E., if city residents currently have a monthly contract with a service, and that service can verify that the customer is regularly using this service, then that resident shall be deemed as meeting your requirements of solid waste management, and no further action OR taxation will be required of this resident.
  3. Conversely, if a resident refuses to even attempt to use a recycling service after a period of time (say 6 months?), then force them into paying more for a city-imposed service (to be carried out by their current refuse service provider) with a hefty additional billing attached. But to make this effective, you should email, mail, advertise, etc., all the available options, along with the current billing costs, so that they can see with their own eyes how much cheaper it would be to act on their own behalf and be pro-active, before being forced to pay the much-higher, city-imposed costs.
  4. Maybe on the education front, you should show some graphic photos of our current dump sites: the boundaries, the lack of expansion, and what the costs per taxpayer would be if the city were forced to build yet another dump.

I hope that this provides a little help. Thanks for letting me give my opinion on the matter.

On August 10, 2013, anonymous wrote:

There are other states that require residents to recycle or they are fined. I believe it is time for Lincoln to start working towards the requirement of recycling. I currently pay for mine to be picked up and I realize not everyone is in a position to do that, however, if more recycled the price may be able to go down, or possibly be included in ones garbage pick up bill. Until we got our recycling tote I did not realize how many items we used could be recycled. On a weekly basis our recycling tote is full, where our garbage tote is barely half full. Thank you for all your work to keep Lincoln/Lancaster County the great place to live that it is.

On August 8, 2013, Russ wrote:

I just returned from visiting brother around Sedalia, MO.

He raises a large garden and uses a lot of compost from the town of Sedalia, so I got interested in the towns operation. Due to the fact that I retired from a water and sanitation district in Colo.

They really have working:
Using solid waste, tree slash all sizes, stumps and logs 8 ft lg. not over 18" in dia.

The compost looks and feels (no smell) like potting soil.

They are selling this for $10.00 per yard to residents, landscapers, farmers.

I believe they received a federal grant to get started.

Sedalia's town ph. is 816-827-3000.

P.S. I will bring a sample of the compost at your meeting. 8/13


On August 8, 2013, Art wrote:

I think curb side pick should be mandatory. My garbage hauler benefits by my recylaling My garbage is reduced by at least half yet I get no reduction in garbage hauler fees. Garbage haulers should pick up recycling for no extra charge.

On August 6, 2013, Terri wrote:

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been recycling for years and will continue to do so. I recycle everything possible and have a recycling "center" set up in my garage and take my bins to one of the recycling centers in town as needed. Because of this, I don't generate a large amount of trash. I do support a city-wide recycling effort, not only to lengthen the life of the landfill but because I believe this is the right thing to do.

I am a single woman in my mid-50's. As stated, I routinely recycle and therefore have minimal trash. However, I am still required to pay for weekly trash pickup even though I put my trash out only every 2-3 weeks. As the city begins to discuss mandatory recycling, keep in mind those of us that do routinely recycle without paying any additional fee. I don't want to be forced to pay for recycling when I have been taking my recycling in myself for many years. I also don't want to pay more for trash pickup just because it includes recycling.

In summary, I am all for recycling and will continue to do so; however, I do not want to have to pay more for something I currently do at no additional cost. Keep us singles in mind when discussing this topic. We just do not generate the trash that families do but are required to pay the same amount.

On August 5, 2013, anonymous wrote:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am an elderly widow and am concerned about the curbside recycling that is being considered.

I take one medium sized can to the curb for pickup about once every three weeks. I recycle everything else and take it to the drop off-site near my home. However, I still have to pay the full price for garbage pickup and then extra for lawn pickup while a household next door with four children and two large garbage cans at the curb for pickup every week is paying the same as I do. This is very costly for me on my limited income.

My son lives in Portland which is huge on recycling. They have several different sized containers available at different prices according to the size of the household. They have a separate recycle pickup day and if a household uses the recycling service $2.50 is deducted from their garbage bill. This seems fairer to everyone and more affordable to small households.


On August 5, 2013, Sandy wrote:

We have recycled for yrs. We take our recyclables to East High drop-off or to Union College where they have bins.

My question: will the people who recycle their items at a designed spot be required to pay a fee for curbside pickup? I feel it would be very unfair to be forced to pay a fee when we don't need curbside pickup!

On August 4, 2013, Jeff wrote:

I have two suggestions: Enter into a contract with Waste Management to cover the whole city no more independent refuse haulers. Reason it would save a lot of fighting among companies which has happened here in Lincoln. It would also put a company that is in all services refuse.recycling misc heavy hauling, sewage recycling you name itand they have been around for a long time. It is there business and they run it like a business. Second: We recycle all of our waste and I take it over to the recycle center at East High located on A Street. What I don't like is that the refuse company has supplied a a dumpster that lets all people who don't pay for the refuse to drop off all of there junk there. I hauled three bikes and to go karts out of there they other day and to them to Mad Dad's to use for parts if nothing else. It is dumped all over the ground there and next we are going to have rats/coons and who else knows what will be going through the junk I think it should stopped and used for a recycle location only not both.

On August 3, 2013, Jaclyn wrote:

The City wants your opinion on how to make Lincoln more green and less wasteful: Dear Sirs and Madams, We recycle. But do not pay for the service. I can't afford to add another utility to our household budget. We collect our items in our garage and take it to the R street recycling site behind Best Buy. I would pay for recycling at my home as an additional service if you could get our garbage collector, (firm name omitted) to only do once a month pickup or bi-weekly for a lesser charge. We are paying $20 for a months service which is once a week. We barely have half a barrel full each week as most of our items are taken to recycling. If you could get (firm name omitted) to lessen their charges and the options for trash pick up. I would love to pay for someone to come and get our recycling curb-side ! Thank you.

On August 3, 2013, Paul wrote:

Forcing waste haulers to provide recycling services would only drive up their costs and increase their fees. Perhaps the city could provide a curbside service once or twice a month for pickup of recyclables.

If recycling services become mandatory, maybe you could provide a discount to help offset the cost on a temporary basis. We recycle, I don't think it is inconvenient for me to drop off my recyclables once a month. This is for a family of four.

On August 2, 2013, Nick wrote:

Recycling should be mandatory for all residents and business by 2016. $5.00 for residents is more than affordable as I pay $20 a month right now. I started recycling with recycle link in 2010 and to date I have recycled 2,195 pounds. Each week the recycle container is full and my waste container is less than half full. I see places that convert the waste into methane gas and the buy product that's leftover is used in jewelry. I think it's New York City that does this. If we focus on the long term benefits we can take a problem and turn it into a solution. You now that someday you won't be able to keep putting it into the ground.

On August 2, 2013, Morgan wrote:

Hello, I wanted to send my feedback on the Solid Waste Plan 2040. I think providing curbside recycling to every household in Lincoln would be amazing. I really hope this goal can be achieved!! It is time for Lincoln residents to be responsible and implement sustainable solutions. Thank you for your hard work.

On August 1, 2013, Logan wrote:

Keep the fees low and make it convenient, all in one recycling.

On August 1, 2013, Larry wrote:

We have been recycling for several years and use a company called Recycle Bank. The charge a small fee and provide a container. The company pickup on every Wednesday and all recycle materials go into the container. They provide a sack the goes in the container when it get full.

We do not separate recyclable waste items, all of it goes into the container. This is the best system I have heard about. We have reduce our land fill garbage to about a grocery sack full a week.

I would recommend this company be contacted for more details if the committee is interested in recycling at minimum cost.

On August 1, 2013, April wrote:

Saw the news about recycling, and my suggestion for recycling is to NOT raise a curb-side fee to $5.00, but to lower a residents garbage fee by $5.00 if they actually take the time to take the recyclables to a recycling bin. I use a very inexpensive 3 section mesh clothes sorter to throw my recycles in-sorted by plastic, cardboard, aluminum/tin, and my glass is separate. The mesh bags are supported by a PVC frame, and are very easy to remove and take to the bins. Bought it @ WalMart for under $10.00.

In order for this to work, there has to be MORE bins EVERYWHERE, so that it is easier for people to drop off the recyclables. If there are not enough bins and they become full quickly, I feel people will become frustrated and just not want to do it. Wouldn't it be cheaper for the garbage companies to go to pick up locations, then to start and stop the big trucks at each residential driveway?

Also, there needs to be a saturation of public awareness of the need to recycle. Perhaps commercials, newspapers ads, and billboard signs. I remember a TV ad about an Indian standing and looking at the road ways littered with plastic bottles and paper trash and he had a tear running down his face. Maybe we need to dig up that commercial from the archives and run it constantly.

Also there is a company in Lincoln that will shred papers for I believe about 25cents a pound. All my junk mail, envelopes from businesses, statements, bills, etc go there for shredding. My identity is shredded, and you can actually watch them do it. I go maybe once a month is all. Newspapers and magazines can go there to, but I drop them off in the big bins instead.

Recycling is not hard-people are just LAZY! Maybe by getting off the couch to take care of the recycling, perhaps the obesity rate will go down just a little also.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.

On July 17, 2013, Ursula wrote:

When you have a recycling program you don't create much Garbage. So the hauler would provide you with 2 full size containers 1 labeled Garbage and 1 Recycables, then pick up 1 week Garbage, 1 week Recycables , that way you don't create more fees for the households. The City can then separate the Glass, Paper etc. Coming from Germany (Country that recycles the most in the world), i know first hand how it works. Cities have Containers on Street Corners etc. were you can drop off Glass, Paper etc. Good example is the UNL Campus (Jazz in June), they have containers labeled recycables or trash.

I wish you would Google Germany, 1 good website is earth911com/general/trash-planet-germany.

One final note Germany has twice a year a pickup for lge items like Vaccuums or items they don't use anymore, you see people driving around picking up what they like. Thank you

On June 13, 2013, Jim wrote:

I use Lingro, and I love it. It makes my soil rich, and my garden plants respond very well to it. Please keep making it. It enriches any soil it is mixed into.

On June 5, 2013, Kristen wrote:

Good Morning,

I read in the LJS this morning citizens were encouraged to send in suggestions for the solid waste planning group regarding recycling ideas. I would suggest you reach out to some rural towns in Nebraska who have faced this same issue. Most of the small towns in Nebraska either struggle to get access to a landfill or it "filled" many years ago.

In the rural Nebraska town where I grew up, Laurel, there is a wonderful recycling center that is heavily used by the community and they do this voluntarily! Now, in all honesty they accomplished this by charging, in addition to a trash pick up fee, a "bag" fee a few years ago. Community members were required to purchase special trash bags, which were smaller too, and there may have been a bag limit per week. Opting not to use those bags or go over the limit increased their trash costs. In a matter of months most of the community was down to one trash bag per week and the rest went to the recycling center. I am not sure if this would be feasible in Lincoln since the trash pick up is done by private companies, but it worked for Laurel.

I will also mention there was not a lot of public information about this policy change beforehand in Laurel and as such the public backlash was able to get the city to abandon the harsh penalties over time. Now, I believe trash costs are just high for everyone, but habits were certainly changed for the year or two the bag rules were in place. Contact information for the town can be found here:

I might also mention that you reach out to Gill Hauling of Jackson, Nebraska. They provide service to many small towns in Northeast Nebraska and although I am not familiar with their policy, I know they offer a curbside recycling service that has been widely taken advantage of. There are very few small towns where everyone doesn't have their "two" trash cans out for every trash pickup. Their number is: (402) 632-9273.

On May 13, 2013, Richard wrote:

Recycling, while necessary, is hardly the best approach to waste management. Recycling can increase the amount of waste generated and certainly does little better than landfilling with regards to GHG generation. PREVENTION is the best approach. I suggest rather than looking at the issue as waste management, you look at materials management overall or a consumption based approach to problem definition prior to devising actions. After all, if you are asking the wrong questions, the answers don't really matter.

On February 11, 2013, Harold wrote:

I just became aware of Bio Char's potential value and lack of public awareness. Biochar has untapped benifits for horticulture as a soil additive, as well as a carbon sequestration method. Carbon does not decompose. LOOK IT UP!

On November 19, 2012, Susan wrote:

Within the Five Guiding Principals, the "overarching goad" of promoting waste PREVENTION is very important to me. We have many opportunities for recycling in Lincoln, but this needs to be coupled with incentives to reduce and reuse materials.

On November 16, 2012, Tim wrote:

As long as people have few financial incentives to cut back on their solid waste we will continue to have more problems on this issue than we need to. It seems with other states/cities charging per container/pound and their statistics, issues, comments and participation we could ease into this kind of program over the next year or two. Also, and we could begin this right away. We tried this once where the day before trash day we had recycling day with everything by the curb could be taken away and used by someone else. More and better pr in advance will help and after a few months it will continue to catch on.

On November 16, 2012, Rebecca wrote:

Mandatory recycling!! includes dividing waste for garbage pickup at all residences and businesses into glass, plastics, cans, newspapers, cardboard, and finally garbage, and then paying a substantial penalty fee for failure to divide recyclables from garbage as directed.

On November 15, 2012, anonymous wrote:

Hi. I'm just wondering if we could rethink trash collection requirements for the elderly in particular or for any of the single person households – we have many of those in Lincoln these days. In my jobs both in retail sales and in healthcare I do hear that that is a hardship especially for the older and elderly who live at home alone and rarely generate any trash. I know a long time ago, 25 years ago, I asked my trash haulers if we could stop my elderly neighbor's, and consolidate her trash with ours. She had one small lunch-sack size trash once every two weeks and yet had to pay for the full service and the trash hauler told us very soundly that if we did that they would sue us for theft of service, or sue her. That doesn't seem right; it seems irrational, it seems very harsh. It seems like with the change in living situations that we're having and more people staying at home in their elder years we should be able to accommodate that.

Also I would think that it would be nice to have some mandatory recycling; I'm seeing lots of furniture, lots of TVs, computer equipment, all going out to the curb. I recycle my things like that and there are plenty of people around Lincoln who will take them; some for free, some for a fee. And I think that rather than just every time we get new furniture or something, that we throw things out at the curb, is inappropriate. So perhaps we just need to start imposing a fee at the time of service or having people have to mandatorily dispose of those in a better fashion than just throwing everything just to the dump. We have eco-stores and places like that. So anyway, that's my concern. Thank you.

On November 15, 2012, Kendall wrote:

I feel that Lincoln has two great opportunities to reduce waste and make collection much more efficient. First, I suggest we adopt some method of "Pay-As-You-Throw", where collection fees are based on the amount of trash generated (volume or weight). This encourages waste reduction and recycling, and makes a fairer system than the one we currently have, where those who have a smaller waste stream are subsidizing those who make no effort to reduce. Second, I suggest we eliminate overlapping routes. My neighborhood sees an endless parade of trucks from different companies covering the same routes. One company/truck per area would be more efficient, as well as reduce noise, traffic and wear & tear on streets. I realize these suggestions go against the status quo, but the bottom line is their efficiency, fairness and results, beneficial to the majority of the public. Seems worth ruffling a few feathers to make this positive change.

On November 14, 2012, Richard wrote:

For reviewing the HDR Report it is obvious that Lincoln and its citizens MUST do a better job of reducing solid waste. Tipping fees need to increase substantially. Mandatory recycling of fiber and plastics must be instituted. The large amount of food waste must be composted with yard waste. More C & D waste must be diverted and recycled. With an increase in revenue from tipping fees. a concrete and masonry rubble processing plant should be investigated. Require all city paving projects to use a certain percentage of recycled C&D waste for paving. The primary goal of the SW plan should be to REDUCE the volume of solid waste entering the landfill, not just maintain a steady state.

On November 13, 2012, Karla L. wrote:

I would like to see data from other communities that have city recycling services. Their of recycling may be similar to current Lincoln rates due to a threshold of those who do recycle per their own initiative and those who just will not recycle because it is not of personal value to them. Also would be supportive of housing a site for household hazardous wastes. The said waste schedules are confusing though I realize this is our private company.

On November 13, 2012, Bradi wrote:

Recycling with garbage- incentives to waste companies that offer recycling with garbage pick up. One day a week pick up garbage, another for recycling. City contract with recycling companies. Partnership of garbage and recycling companies.

On September 10, 2012, Carrie wrote:

WasteCap Nebraska hosts bi-monthly Green Team Roundtable in Lincoln. Each Roundtable begins with a Circle question designed to generate conversation. As part of the August meeting the question posed to the team was "If there were one thing you could recommend be included, what would that be?" There were a number of different responses with the most prominent responses being: education, awareness, convenience, landfill bans on plastic bags and packaging, and incentives for recycling. A more detailed list can be found on

On August 8, 2012, Mary Anne wrote:

I think it is important to have curbside recycling at every home, this will make it easier for people to recycle. The city could be divided into areas for each of the existing recycling companies to service, similar to refuse service.

On July 10, 2012, Kurt wrote:

Hi, as the city plans forward, I would encourage the planning committee to engage in a deep conversation about the recycling program in Lincoln. What we have is a good start but the content and quantity of material going to the landfill is a shame. We need a curbside option with all trash carriers and we need a single stream recycling center. A town of well over 250,000 will absolutely need a better recycling program. I currently live in a large apartment complex..the residence throw EVERYTHING away because there are NO handy options. Recycling is best when it is convenient to do the process. Save tax dollars and the landfill by improving the recycling process in Lincoln. Please visit Omaha and see what they are doing to reduce volume of and kinds of trash filling their landfills.