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March 2004

Over $1 Million Awarded To Recycling, Litter Programs in Nebraska

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Director Mike Linder has announced the awarding of $1.13 million in 56 separate grants for litter cleanup, recycling and public education programs. The grants are from the Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant Program. Funds for the program are generated from a fee charged to certain manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers.

Some examples of the types of projects being funded through this grant program are:

•The Village of Verdigre was awarded $22,420 for a new building to be used for recycling services. Verdigre began its recycling program in 1994, and has been expanding their services since that time. Due to this growth, the building currently can’t accommodate all of their recycling equipment. In addition, the current building is not in a location that can easily be serviced by semi trucks that transport the collected recyclables. The new building will enable further expansion of recycling services in Verdigre and will extend their service area to include additional communities in Knox County.

•The Five Rivers Resource Conservation & Development District was awarded $37,173 for household hazardous waste collection events in eight counties in southeast Nebraska. It is estimated that they will collect approximately 50 tons of material. At all events, recycling rather than disposal of the material will be pursued whenever possible. Partners in the events include the counties of Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson and Saline. Additional partners are Keep Beatrice Beautiful, Keep Nebraska Beautiful, the Cooperative Extension Service, and three Natural Resources Districts.

•Burton Enterprises, located in Henderson, provides drive-through recycling services, as well as providing semi-truck collection service to an eight-county area. They were awarded $31,928 to add three loading docks to their existing building. The grant should help with continued expansion of services and will enable them to process greater volumes of recyclables more efficiently.

WasteCap of Lincoln, started in 1995 by a group of Lincoln businesses, provides technical assistance on recycling, waste reduction and pollution prevention to businesses through educational outreach and training opportunities, developing contracts for recycling, and waste assessment services. They were awarded $59,595 to provide technical assistance to businesses statewide. They are developing a statewide expansion strategy to promote business waste reduction and recycling with local support, and have begun activities in Grand Island. WasteCap has been a strong advocate for purchasing of recycled-content and environmentally preferable products.

•The City of North Platte was awarded $23,220 for the purchase of a litter-vacuum system to be used on city property such as brick streets, sidewalks, parks, fairgrounds and smaller parking lots. The litter vacuum will allow the city a more effective method of litter removal from city property and will help prevent litter from entering waterways and rural areas.

•U.S. Recyclers Inc., located in Ogallala, was awarded $12,145 to purchase a recycling trailer to be placed in the Village of Venango and to provide recyclables pick-up service to the community. They will also provide recyclables pick-up service to Village of Sutherland and City of Arapahoe. The goal of U.S. Recyclers Inc is to promote and provide recycling services to Ogallala and area communities.

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