Lincoln's eight-year yard waste composting program has produced another benefit for citizens - LinGro, an organic compost produced from grass clippings, leaves and wood chips. Mayor Don Wesely today announced that LinGro is now available to the public in bulk quantities from eight retail outlets in Lincoln.
"Our composting program has already added years to the life of our landfill, and now we have a way to market the compost and share this high quality product with the community," Mayor Wesely said. "Our Department of Public Works and Utilities came up with the name ‘LinGro' to promote the compost, which is high in organic matter and an excellent conditioner for the clay soils in Lancaster County."
City Recycling Coordinator Gene Hanlon said the compost improves soil structure by increasing its capacity to hold water. It also adds beneficial micro-organisms to the soil, increases soil porosity and decreases the bulk density of the soil. Because LinGro improves soil fertility and water filtration, Hanlon said it is an excellent top dressing for lawns.
LinGro is available in bulk quantities for a nominal fee from eight local retailers:
A limited quantity of LinGro compost is available at no cost on a first come, first served basis at the 48th Street Transfer Station. Individuals must load the material themselves. Those wanting 20 cubic yards or more of compost can also order it directly from the city by calling the City Recycling Office.
Information on proper application of LinGro compost and incorporation into the soil is available from the City Recycling Office, participating retailers and the Lancaster County Cooperative Extension Service. Partial funding for the city's composting program was provided by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Waste Reduction and Recycling Program.
Hanlon reminds residents that state law requires them to separate grass clippings and leaves from their household trash from April 1 through November 30 of each year. The city receives about 14,500 tons of grass and leaves each year and 6,500 tons of brush during the growing season.
Individuals can subscribe to a separate collection of grass and leaves provided at a fee by local waste haulers. The yard waste must be placed in approved containers, which include paper lawn bags, 32-gallon waste containers with tight fitting lids or 90-gallon containers provided by the waste hauler. The city does not allow grass and leaves to be placed in plastic trash bags.
Hanlon said the city conducts random inspections of loads coming to the Bluff Road landfill and composting site. If the inspector finds household trash mixed with grass and leaves, the waste haulers could be fined up to $50, and the cost may be passed on to the residents who mixed their yard waste with household trash.
Those who subscribe to the yard waste collection may put brush under one inch in diameter with their grass clippings and leaves. Individuals that do not subscribe to the special yard waste collection may put their brush and tree trimmings with their household trash.
Those who do not wish to have a separate yard waste collection have three options. They can haul the grass and leaves themselves to the 48th Street transfer station, hire a lawn service or mulch and compost their grass and leaves.