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2004 Media Releases

March 19, 2004
For More Information Contact:
Dave Norris, Citizen Information Center, 441-7547
Gene Hanlon, Recycling Coordinator, 441-7043

Related Links:
Environmental Awareness Days List of Activities
City of Lincoln Yard Waste Composting Program Fact Sheet 81K - PDF
Mayor's Water Conservation Task Force Busboard Contest Pictures

Mayor Kicks Off Environmental Awareness Days at Earth Wellness Festival

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today visited the tenth annual Earth Wellness Festival to award prizes in the annual water conservation busboard contest and to sign a proclamation designating March, April and May as Environmental Awareness Days in Lincoln. The Festival at Southeast Community College is an environmental education program for local fifth-graders.

"I congratulate the organizers of the Earth Wellness Festival on ten successful years of teaching children what they can do to protect our natural resources," said Mayor Seng. "This event helps them understand the importance of conservation, and I hope they will develop a life-long commitment to our environment."

The busboard contest, also for fifth-graders, is sponsored by the Mayor’s Water Conservation Task Force. It is designed to promote water quality and conservation as an important everyday issue for all citizens. The winning entry was submitted by Carmen Claesson, who is home-schooled. Her artwork will be displayed on a StarTran busboard for one to two months and on a Lamar Outdoor Advertising billboard for one year.

Second place was awarded to Michelle Nguyen of Hawthorne Elementary. Other winners are: 3rd - Joanne Becker, Ruth Hill; 4th - McKenzie Miller, Zeman; 5th - Ciara Hegeholz, Kahoa; 6th - Aaron Matzke, Eastridge; and 7th - Mauricio Romero Perez of Zeman, Shalom Parker who is home schooled and Vlad Verbitskiy of Hawthorne. All winners will have their artwork on bookmarks distributed at City and school libraries.

Mayor Seng encouraged residents to participate in the many activities planned for Environmental Awareness Days. She also reminded city residents that the Yard Waste Composting Program begins April 1. Until November 30, residents must separate their yard waste from their household trash.

This is the eleventh year for the composting program. Since 1992, an estimated 154,500 tons of leaves and grass and 195,000 tons of storm debris, brush and wood have been diverted from the landfill, adding nearly two years to the life of the landfill. Based on current volumes of the composting operation, another three years would be added to the life of the landfill, allowing it to stay open until 2026. Mayor Seng thanked the City’s waste haulers for their cooperation in the program.



Earth Wellness Festival: March 19
The Earth Wellness Festival kicks off Environmental Awareness Days for Lincoln and Lancaster County. This is the tenth annual Festival, which provides fifth-grade students in Lancaster County with hands-on educational activities. Local environmental groups, the City of Lincoln, the Lower Platte Natural Resource District and the University of Nebraska sponsor this environmental education program at Southeast Community College in Lincoln. Since it began in 1994, the Festival has reached about 29,000 young people. For more information on the event contact the Lancaster County Extension Service at 441-7180.

Yard Waste Composting Program: April 1 through November 30
Between April 1 and November 30 of each year, residents must separate their grass clippings and leaves from their household trash. A separate yard waste collection is available from local waste haulers for a fee. Many save money by composting or mulching yard waste on their own property. For information on composting workshops, call the City Recycling Office at 441-8215.

Great American Cleanup: April - May
The Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest organized annual cleanup, beautification and community improvement program. It is sponsored nationally by Keep America Beautiful and locally by Keep Lincoln and Lancaster County Beautiful. Millions of volunteers nationwide take part annually in this program to help clean up litter and improve their communities. Citizens are encouraged to clean up litter in their neighborhood to help improve their community. Other ways to get involved include:

  • Many neighborhood groups sponsor spring clean-ups. To find out if your neighborhood group is involved, contact Keep Lincoln and Lancaster County Beautiful at 441-8035.
  • Clean-up mini-grants are offered to groups, organizations, clubs and families to clean up litter on public land areas. These can include roadsides, lake shorelines, dam faces and other public land areas. Mini-grants range from $25 to $100, depending on the size of the project and other factors. For an application and more details, contact Keep Lincoln and Lancaster County Beautiful at 441-8035
  • Keep Wilderness Park Beautiful is a clean up of Lincoln’s wildest park from 8:30 a.m. to noon, April 17. Join Pioneer Park Nature Center staff in picking up litter along trails and roads. Participants will meet at the park entrance at 1st Street and Park Boulevard. Free pizza and pop will be provided for those who pre-register before April 15. More information is available from the Nature Center at 441-7895.

Cans for Books Campaign: April 1 through 30
During this time, area schools will receive five cents per pound for aluminum cans brought to A & J Recycling, 3400 North 22nd Street, and A-Can Recycling, 3255 South 10th Street. The can collection is being sponsored by the two recyclers along with Midland Recycling, Lee Booksellers, the Ventures in Partnership program and the Lincoln Public Schools Recycling and Media programs. Those dropping off cans may designate which school library will receive their donations. The school and individual bringing in the most aluminum cans will win cash prizes from Midland Recycling. For more information, call Midland Recycling at 476-8502.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection: April 24 and May 22
Collections are set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 24 at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, 4021 North 56th Street, and for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 22 at Pfizer Inc, 601 W. Cornhusker Highway. Local residents can dispose of household hazardous waste, such as heavy metals, solvents, pesticides and items containing PCBs. Materials NOT accepted are fertilizers, antifreeze, medicines, used oil, batteries, explosives and ammunition or household trash. Do not mix chemicals, and keep products in their original containers. The Latex Paint Exchange will occur at the Pfizer Inc site on May 22. Only good, usable latex paint in containers that are at least half full is accepted. Latex paint will not be accepted at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company on April 24. Call 441-8040 for more information about these and other collection dates throughout the year.

Spring Affair: April 24
This 18th annual event is sponsored by the State Fair Park, the Nebraska State-wide Arboretum, and UNL Landscape Services. Activities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lancaster Building include a native and exotic plant sale, seminars on gardening, a variety of outdoor vendors and tips on gardening. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call UNL Landscape Services at 472-2679.

34th Annual Earth Day: April 17-18
On April 17 and 18 people can participate in a free “Earth Day Everyday” hike at the Pioneers Park Nature Center. The hikes begin at 2 pm each day and will be guided by a naturalist. Meet at the Chet Ager Building at Pioneers Park.

Clean Your Files Week: April 19 through 23
If your file cabinets at work are bulging or you have boxes and boxes of old files, “Clean Your Files Week” is for you. This is the fifth annual observance in Lincoln. The event supports Earth Day by offering office workers the opportunity to empty file drawers and fill recycling bins. Recyclables include computer paper, letterhead, white and colored ledger paper, phone books, cards and envelopes. For more information on “Clean Your Files Week,” call the Lincoln Recycling Office at 441-8215.

Lincoln Lancaster Environmental Awards Dinner: April 23
This annual event is sponsored by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and the City Public Works and Utilities Department to recognize organizations, schools, businesses and individuals for their environmental efforts. The awards dinner and ceremony begins at 7 pm at the Bryan-LGH Hospital Conference Center, 48th and Cotner, and the cost is $15 per person. For information or a reservation, call 441-8035.

Arbor Day: April 25
Many activities are planned statewide for this observance, which was created by Nebraskan J. Sterling Morton (1832-1902).

For more information about Environmental Awareness Days, call the Lincoln Recycling Office at 441-8215.

Mayor's Office    Media Releases