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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

March 22, 2001
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831

City Of Lincoln Yard Waste Composting Program

Fact Sheet

From April 1 through November 30 of each year, state law prohibits mixing grass clippings and leaves with household trash headed for the city landfill. Communities disposing of grass and leaves during that time are subject to a fine of $5,000 per day.

Residents have several options for handling yard waste:

Yard waste is defined as grass and leaves and includes such material as crab grass and pine needles. Tree trimmings, brush and garden waste can be combined with yard waste for those who subscribe to a separate collection, however, the tree trimmings must be smaller than one inch in diameter and be bundled in four-to-five foot lengths. If a person does not subscribe to the separate yard waste collection, this material can be placed with their regular household trash.

Those who mix grass and leaves with household trash or who put yard waste into plastic bags instead of paper bags or approved waste containers may have the material left at their curbs with a card of explanation. The only approved containers for yard waste are paper lawn bags, 32-gallon containers with tight fitting lids or larger containers provided by the waste hauler. Containers that are larger than 32-gallons are very difficult to empty without the risk of injury, and the waste hauler may leave this material at the curb as well. Many local waste haulers can provide 90-gallon carts that are emptied mechanically to reduce back injuries. These carts also save money because they are less expensive than the paper lawn bags.

In the first seven years of the program the city has diverted 111,780 tons of grass and leaves and 171,740 tons of brush from the landfill. On average, the compost facility receives over 14,500 tons of grass and leaves and 6,000 tons of brush per growing season. The program has added about 1.75 years to the life of the landfill. If the current levels are averaged over the remaining life of the landfill, another 4.25 years will be added to the landfill’s life.

The organic compost produced from recycled yard waste has been named LinGro by the city Public Works and Utilities Department. LinGro is available to the public in bulk quantities from area retailers and landscapers for a nominal fee. A limited quantity is also available on a first-come, first-served basis at the 48th Street Transfer Station.

To learn more about the Yard Waste Composting Program, call the Lincoln Recycling Office at 441-7043 or Mike Niederhaus of the Lincoln Solid Waste Management Association at 475-8361.

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