Corrugated Cardboard Disposal Ban
How to Take it to the Bin
- Contact your garbage collector to subscribe for weekly recycling pickup. Services cost less than a cup of coffee per week.
- Take your corrugated cardboard to a public recycling drop-off site for free.
- Contact your garbage collector to subscribe for weekly recycling pickup.
- Self-haul your corrugated cardboard to a local recycling processor. (Public recycling drop-off sites are for households only.)
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of cardboard is not allowed for disposal in the landfill?
Clean, dry corrugated cardboard is not accepted in the landfill, per Lincoln Municipal Code 8.32.040*. Corrugated cardboard that is soiled with food waste or is completely wet is accepted in the landfill.
Why corrugated cardboard?
Corrugated cardboard makes up about 9.5% of the garbage that collectors take to the landfill. It is the largest single recyclable material disposed of in the landfill. Cardboard has both a high commodity value and is in high demand by paper mills.
What should be done with clean, dry corrugated cardboard?
- Reuse it, if possible.
- Flatten and recycle it for free at a public recycling drop-off site.
- Use a recycling collection service.
Who is affected by the corrugated cardboard disposal ban?
All Lincoln and Lancaster County residents and businesses who have their garbage collected and delivered to the landfill are affected by the ban.
Can businesses take corrugated cardboard to one of the City’s public recycling drop-off sites?
The City’s recycling drop-off sites are provided for Lincoln and Lancaster County residents. Businesses should contact recycling collectors to subscribe to services, or take corrugated cardboard and other recyclables directly to recycling processors. In some circumstances, businesses can be compensated for their recyclable material.
How is the corrugated cardboard disposal ban enforced?
Garbage collectors are prohibited from placing recyclable corrugated cardboard in the trucks they send to the landfill. Landfill staff monitor the waste in vehicles and require any recyclable corrugated cardboard to be removed. Residents and businesses must ensure that clean, dry corrugated cardboard is not placed in trash containers.
Will residents be penalized for placing clean, dry corrugated cardboard in the garbage?
No. Lincoln and Lancaster County residents will not be ticketed by the City for failure to recycle corrugated cardboard. Residents should check with their garbage collectors to confirm whether they will be charged additional fees if recyclable corrugated cardboard is found in their trash.
Will landlords and businesses be ticketed if corrugated cardboard is placed in trash containers at properties or worksites?
No. Landlords and businesses will not be ticketed by the City for failure to recycle corrugated cardboard. They should contact their garbage collectors to confirm whether they will be charged additional fees if corrugated cardboard is found in their trash containers. Residents of apartments whose buildings do not offer recycling programs can take their recyclables to one of the many recycling drop-off sites for no fee.
Is there a fee to recycle corrugated cardboard?*
No. There is no fee to recycle cardboard at a public recycling drop-off site. To find a site nearest you, please see the recycling drop-off sites map. *For recycling collection service at a residence or business, the cost varies. Check with your garbage collector or a recycling service for pricing.
Can greasy pizza boxes be recycled?
Yes. Pizza boxes that have pizza grease stains can be recycled, as long as there is no solid food residue.
Can corrugated cardboard that has wood or Styrofoam attached to it be recycled?
No. The wood or Styrofoam must be separated from the corrugated cardboard before recycling.
How does the City of Lincoln benefit from recycling corrugated cardboard?
Recycling promotes greater environmental stewardship in the community, delays the development for a new landfill, conserves resources, creates new jobs and improves the local economy. The sustainability and social responsibility culture within a community are increasingly important to its growth and economic expansion.
Do other communities prohibit cardboard disposal in their landfills?
Lincoln is the first community in Nebraska to prohibit disposal of corrugated cardboard in landfills. Other regions with similar cardboard disposal laws include Linn County (Cedar Rapids), Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Fort Collins, Colorado; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Vermont.
How can I learn more about the corrugated cardboard disposal ban and recycling?
Please visit recycle.lincoln.ne.gov for additional educational materials and videos in multiple languages.