Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Grant Program ▸ Awarded Grants

2019 Awarded Grants

Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln - $5,000

Scrub Day, April 20th, 2019 provides Lincoln residents and businesses the opportunity to donate at a collection site in their neighborhood instead of driving to the Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore donation center. Donated items could include appliances, furniture, building materials, cabinets, lighting, hardware, plumbing, flooring, windows and doors. City grant funding will be used to help support personnel costs of the Habitat for Humanity Lincoln, truck rentals for at home pickups and advertising of promotional material. Items are diverted from the landfill by this process and reused in households throughout the community. From 2016 to 2017 ReStore diverted a total of 3.7 tons of materials from the landfill. This year ReStore estimates to divert 5 tons of materials from the landfill in one day.

Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) - $18,000

Expands current project in which 49 schools have been diverting their food waste to Prairieland Dairy. A total of 8 more schools would be added for a total of 57 schools participating. This means that every public school, K-12, in Lincoln city limits will be composting at the end of the year. City grant funds will be used to off-set personnel costs, purchase compost bin liners, purchase signage for educational purposes and expand milk carton recycling throughout LPS. LPS estimates that currently 49 schools divert 529 tons of organic waste annually, with the potential to divert another 94.5 tons of milk cartons annually. An additional 166 tons of organic waste is estimated to be diverted from the landfill annually with the expansion into the last eight schools. The total amount of organic waste to be diverted from the landfill annually is estimated to be 695 tons. With the addition of milk carton recycling the total amount of waste estimated to be diverted from the landfill annually by LPS is 789.5 tons.

Nebraska Recycling Council - $15,000

The Nebraska Recycling Council will be conducting waste audits of six different areas of the commercial sector. This is to help reach the cities goal of 30% waste diversion per capita by 2040. City grant funds will be used for personnel costs, contractual services, safety glasses, gloves, garbage bags, plastic sheeting, labels and finally printing costs for final reports. These waste audits will help businesses to develop the best waste management practice. Through education and onsite support a significant amount of waste may be diverted from the landfill. Each participating organization will benefit from live training that will include a review of the waste audit findings, what can be recycled, how to recycle and where to find help with questions. If a number of organizations in the six commercial sectors adopt the policy recommendations, then a significant step will be made in helping reach the city’s overall waste diversion goal.

2018 Awarded Grants

City of Hickman - $8,980

Grant funds will be used to purchase 15 recycling containers and supplies for the Community Center, parks and along the trail system. Recycling stations would be placed next to existing trash receptacles in publicly utilized areas. Specific areas include inside and outside the Community Center; Prairie Park; Prairie View Park; three along the Linear Park Trail and six at Hickman main park. Recyclables collected will be deposited at the Recycling drop-off site in Lincoln. The City will educate residents about the recycling effort and encourage them to separate aluminum cans and plastic bottles from their waste.

Lincoln Public Schools - $20,034

Grant funds will be used to cover 25% of the staff time of the Sustainability Coordinator to coordinate the Organic waste composing and milk carton recycling program in 49 schools as well as the purchase of compostable bag liners for collection receptacles. Currently 35 schools participate in the composting and milk carton recycling program. Grant funds will be used to expand the program to 14 schools (11 elementary and 3 middle schools). An additional 8,000 students will be participating in the program.

Prairieland Dairy - $11,100

Grant funds will be used to purchase two-three used semi-trailer van that would be placed at large generators of waste. When full Prairieland Gold would pull the full trailer and leave an empty one. The addition of the used trailers purchased with grant funds would allow a total 1040 tons per to be diverted from disposal in the landfill. The trailers would likely be used at Sensory Effects in Air Park which produces cereal. Some of the cereal will be used to feed the dairy cows, but a majority will be used in the organic waste composting program at Prairieland Dairy. Use of the semi-trailers would not be restricted for use in Lincoln and Lancaster County.

2017 Awarded Grants

Lincoln Public Schools - $20,000

Expands current project in which 22 schools have been diverting their food waste to Prairieland Dairy. A total of 20 more schools would be added for a total of 42 schools participating. City Grant funds would be used to off-set personnel costs in organizing the expansion of the program as well as purchase compostable can liners and hand-held digital scales that LPS janitorial staff would use to determine the average weight of organic waste generated and diverted from the landfill. It is estimated that approximately 280 additional tons of organic waste will be diverted from the landfill annually by adding 20 more schools to the program.

Nebraska Farmers Union, Big Red Worms - $12,000

Vermicomposting program began in August 2015 and is currently collecting 44,000 pounds of food waste per month. The grant would allow Big Red Worms to purchase equipment to mechanically mix the organic food waste with carbon to properly achieve the carbon-nitorgen ration to begin the composting process. The purchase of the equipment will reduce labor costs and double the amount of material processed to 88,000 pounds per month. This would represent a total of 528 tons of material diverted from the landfill annually.

Nebraska Recycling Council (Formerly WasteCap Nebraska) - $8,000

The Nebraska Recycling Council will produce three two-page business reference guides containing sequential steps for creating a recycling program and a brief case study highlighting a Lincoln business that already has a successful recycling program. Three sectors will be targeted: schools, offices and restaurant/bars. The guides will contain links to resources such as education and training of employees, forming green teams, identifying service providers, creating RFPs, and becoming zero waste certified. The guides will be available in digital form as well as distributed to industry groups such as the, the Nebraska Restaurant Association, and the Building Owners and Managers’ Association (BOMA). Online and social media marketing will be utilized as well as emailed newsletters that will highlight the guides, which will also be available in digital form.

2016 Awarded Grants

Central States Reprocessing - $5,250

Purchase a Non-ferrous Metal Separator ($8,000) to remove non-ferrous metals from PVC and HDPE home siding. City Grant funds totaled $5,250. Currently they recycle 125 tons of PVC and post- industrial plastics per month. Estimate that the new equipment will add another 200 tons of plastics diverted from the landfill.

Nebraska Farmers Union, Big Red Worms - $14,750

Vermicomposting program began in August 2015 and is currently collecting 21,460 pounds of food waste per month from various sources. Big Red Worms has the capacity to process about 44,100 pounds of food waste and horse bedding and manure per month (265 tons/year). Grant would upgrade their facility to handle more organic waste from schools, charitable organizations and commercial establishments. The upgrade is primarily in the receiving area where food waste and horse bedding and manure are mixed. The receiving area needs to be regraded and have a concrete pad poured with bunker walls and drainage installed to reduce potential runoff issues and increase the efficiency of their operation. Total Grant award was $14,750.

Lincoln Public Schools - $20,000

Expands current project in which 13 schools have been diverting their food waste to Prairieland Dairy. Three schools would be added in spring of 2016 and six in the fall semester of 2016. Based on pilot project it is estimated that adding 9 additional schools will divert an additional 132 tons of organic waste increasing the annual total tons diverted from the landfill 63% to a total of 341 tons of organic waste during the next year for all the participating schools. The organic waste is primarily transported to Prairieland Dairy composting operation for composting, however LPS is also working with a trial project of an anaerobic digester developed by Waste to Energy Lincoln and Nebraska Farmers Union that is developing a vermicomposting facility in Lincoln. Total grant award was $20,000 to cover personnel costs as well as materials and supplies.

2015 Awarded Grants

In 2015, Solid Waste Management awarded three grants for commercial and construction waste reduction and recycling projects. A summary of those grants is below.

EcoStores Nebraska - $20,000

EcoStores will work with 5 local property owners and construction companies to identify a construction project as a case study for diversion of waste from landfill disposal. EcoStores will work with each firm to develop guidelines and employee training on the separation of reusable building waste. They will develop “best practices” for management of construction waste for the recycling options available in the Lincoln area. Based on working with these firms they will develop recommendations for changes in public and private policies and practices as well as improvements in reporting and communication among stakeholders.

Lincoln Public Schools - $13,100

Expands current pilot project in which 3 schools have been diverting their food waste to Prairieland Dairy for composting. Based on the pilot project adding food waste composting to these schools has successfully diverted 65% of the cafeteria waste. There is an average of 0.5 pounds of food waste generated per student per day. With the grant funds provided by the City nine elementary schools were added to the composting collection program in the spring of 2015. The project will divert an estimated 189 tons of food waste from the landfill. Grant funds will be used to purchase materials and supplies for the expansion of the composting program to the 9 elementary schools.

WasteCap Nebraska - $7,000

The restaurant pilot project will work with a group of restaurants with shared needs that can identify challenges, barriers and opportunities for the development of a recycling and composting program within their facilities. The pilot project will also develop employee training materials for restaurant employees on recycling and composting and expand compostable collection in Lincoln. The project will focus on one square block in the west Haymarket area (7th – 8th Streets and P – Q Streets). There are six restaurants located on the block. These businesses all share one back alley area where there is a shared compactor and some shared recycling already taking place. A waste assessment will be performed to estimate the amount of material that could be diverted through a recycling and composting program.