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 through November 30 each year. In order for waste haulers to comply with this requirement on April 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:
This is the 18th year of the yard waste composting program in Lincoln. Since the fall of 1992, City officials estimate that Lincoln has diverted more than 241,783 tons of grass and leaves and 108,469 tons of tree trimmings from the landfill. To date, the composting program and annual wood recycling operation have added more than two years to the life of the landfill. This represents more than 1.2 million cubic yards of landfill space with a current value of $10.7 million. If the City stopped its composting and wood waste diversion program today, it is projected that the landfill would close in 2031 instead of the scheduled year of 2034.
Dan Kurtzer, President of the Lincoln Solid Waste Management Association, said grass and leaves must be placed in approved containers: paper yard waste bags available from retailers; 32-gallon waste containers with tight-fitting lids; and 90-gallon containers provided by the waste haulers.
City policy does not allow grass and leaves in plastic bags at the compost facility because the bags do not decompose and cause litter problems. Kurtzer said some waste haulers will empty the plastic bags, so residents wanting to use plastic should contact their haulers to determine how they manage the bags.
City Recycling Coordinator Gene Hanlon said that the City inspects incoming loads at the Bluff Road Landfill and composting site. If household trash is found mixed with grass and leaves, the City can assess the haulers a $50 fine. Kurtzer said waste haulers may leave containers at the curb if they contain household trash mixed with grass and leaves.
For more information on the City's composting program or the availability of compost and wood chips, contact the City Recycling Office at 402-441-8215; visit the City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: compost) or friend us on Facebook: City of Lincoln Recycling and Solid Waste.