Beginning Friday, April 1, waste haulers will collect grass and leaves separately from household trash. State law requires grass and leaves be separated from household trash from April 1 until December 1. Residents who subscribe to separate yard waste collection must begin to separate grass and leaves from their household trash after their last waste collection in March.
The separate collection of grass and leaves is provided by local waste haulers for a fee. Those who do not subscribe to the special collection have three options - haul grass and leaves to the 48th Street Transfer Station; hire a lawn service; or mulch and compost grass clippings and leaves. The Lancaster County Extension Office will provide composting workshops April 2, May 21 and June 11. For more information, call the recycling hotline at 402-441-8215.
Lincoln is in the 23rd year of its yard waste composting program. Since 1992, an estimated 313,700 tons of grass and leaves and 132,500 tons of tree trimmings have been diverted from the landfill. The yard waste is made into LinGRO compost, which is available to the public now. The compost is $10 per cubic yard, but the public can obtain the compost at no cost if they self-load it at the 48th Street Transfer Station, 5101 North 48th Street.
Grass and leaves must be placed in approved containers: paper yard waste bags available from retailers; 32-gallon containers with tight-fitting lids; or 95-gallon containers provided by waste haulers. City policy does not allow yard waste in plastic bags at the compost facility because the bags do not decompose and cause litter problems. The City inspects incoming loads at the Bluff Road Landfill and composting facility. If trash is found mixed with yard waste, the City can assess the haulers a $50 fine.
"Waste haulers may leave containers at the curb if they contain trash mixed with grass and leaves," said Jim Klein, President of the Solid Waste Management and Recycling Association. "We also encourage residents to use paper lawn bags for their leaves in the winter because the leaves tend to freeze in the containers if they are wet."