WasteCap of Lincoln’s E-Newsletter

December 2003


Holiday Potpourri…. From erasable ink to genetically-engineered, glowing pets, December’s E-Newsletter has a little bit of everything.  Happy Holidays from the WasteCap of Lincoln staff, and remember to reduce, reuse and recycle during this busy season!! 


The results are in!!  Complete results and materials from the “Business R & R Event” are now available online.  See this month’s E-Newsletter for an official event wrap-up and direct links to show results.


Waste Reduction at WasteCap…. In an effort to reduce office paper waste at your office and ours, WasteCap has moved to an electronic newsletter.  Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any interested parties, but refrain from printing it out in its entirety.  All past e-newsletters can be found on our website under the “Archives” tab.  Thank you! 


Check out our website at www.wastecaplnk.org for the latest events, publications, and new member listings for WasteCap of Lincoln.



What’s New for December 2003:


¨      WasteCap’s New Member Profile

¨      Bahr Vermeer Haecker Architects

¨      Statistics and Results from the 2003 “Business R & R Event” Now Available Online

¨      Nucor Tire Recycling Program Cuts Costs, Draws National Attention

¨      Holiday Waste Reduction & Recycling Tips from Our Office to Your Home

¨      Cell Phone Tossing to Increase with New Rule 

¨      Retrofit Recycling Pick-Up Dates

¨      Markets Corner

¨      Invisible Ink Makes Recycling Headaches Disappear

¨      Plastic Bottles Could Replace Steel & Wood in Bridges 

¨      New Genetically-Engineered “GloFish” Pet Makes Waves

¨      Animal Doo to Power Tokyo Zoo



WasteCap’s New Member Profile

WasteCap of Lincoln is pleased to announce that our membership is growing and now includes some of the service providers that our current members are using.  We are happy to welcome them into our membership.


Bahr Vermeer Haecker Architects

Bahr Vermeer Haecker Architects, established in 1968, is a full service architecture, planning and interior design firm serving Midwest and national clients from offices in Omaha and Lincoln with affiliated offices in Alexandria, Virginia; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Their firm is made up of 17 registered architects, with the balance of their 47 person staff being graduate architects, interior designers and administrative personnel.  The principals at BVH are “working architects” who are actively involved in the business of architecture on a daily basis. 


Planning services from BVH include participatory planning, site planning, institutional master planning, facility planning, existing facility evaluations, project budgeting and scheduling, public awareness presentations, historic preservation/reuse planning, and project construction and project cost estimates.  Building design services include site selection, client participation and communication, programming, architecture, interior design and space planning, project scheduling, contract documents, bidding/negotiations, CADD systems, facilities management, landscape design, graphics, and construction observation. 


BVH has received over 125 awards and citations for work on the local, regional and national level with projects published in leading U.S. periodicals including Interiors, Architectural Record, Designers West, Home Magazine Faith & Form, and Progressive Architecture.  Other publications include Ville Giardini (Italy), Architectural Journal (China), Process Architecture (Japan), The Architects Journal (England), and Architecture Francaise (France).  Bahr Vermeer Haecker was the first recipient of the Firm of the Year award from the Nebraska Society of Architects in 1993.  Most recently, Bahr Vermeer Haecker was the recipient of the Design Honor Award from the Nebraska AIA for St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska and the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.


Bahr Vermeer Haecker Architects pride themselves in designing with the land.  They strive to create buildings that are environmentally responsible while maintaining safety and good design.  Since BVH believes that respect for the earth is essential when creating new space or renovating old, they use natural renewable materials, minimize disruption of the landscape and educate buildings’ users of options available for being good stewards of the land. Bahr Vermeer Haecker Architects, a proud member of the United States Green Building Council, is pleased to have been a part of a number of adaptive reuse and historic preservation projects; most recently, the Nebraska State Capitol building and the restoration of the Old Federal Building.


BVH continues their commitment to the environment through both on-site jobs as well as in the office.  They have a long-running office recycling program that includes computer paper, plotter paper, plans, scratch paper, junk mail, file folders, books, magazines, photographs, aluminum and plastics.  On-site they recycle concrete, wood, and metals.



Statistics and Results from the 2003 “Business R & R Event” Now Available Online

Thank you to all the exhibitors, training attendees, and general attendees who took the time to complete their evaluations – we appreciate your feedback!  As you know, WasteCap of Lincoln takes all comments and feedback seriously in order to improve our future events and publications.  Below is a recap of the 2003 “Business R & R Event.” For complete show results, training materials, award luncheon scripts, and event photos, click here to view our newly updated website.   


2003 was the second year WasteCap of Lincoln has offered this event.  First known as the “Nebraska Recycling & Pollution Prevention Training & Vendor Show,” this year’s event revealed a shorter name with an expanded schedule of events.  The 2003 “Business R & R Event” focused on “Reduction” and “Recycling” – two essential components for any business wishing to remain economically competitive in today’s business world. 


The event coupled the efforts of 43 exhibitors and 20 community and corporate sponsors to facilitate the interaction and partnerships between area business representatives and environmental service providers.  In addition to a newly expanded exhibitor area, the event offered an Environmental Excellence Award Luncheon, the “Pulp Fashion” recycled-content fashion show, and 4 in-depth environmental training sessions with 6 expert speakers.


Here are the results from the 2003 “Business R & R Event” by the numbers:


  • 43 Environmental Service Providers exhibiting their services – from fiber recycling to environmentally-friendly cleaning products, consulting to environmentally preferable purchasing
  • 20 Community and Corporate Sponsors offering their support and seal of approval for the event through both monetary and in-kind services
  • 4 Environmental Training Sessions highlighting the expertise of 6 local speakers on the following topics:

- “Business Recycling 101” Employee Training Modules

- Buying (and Being) Green in Today’s Business World

- Create a Free Trade Zone within your Business: Silent Auctions & Swap Shops

- Protecting your Company’s Integrity and Security: Computer Donation &

Recycling Guidelines

  • Nearly 250 Business Representatives walking through the exhibition area and attending the day’s activities
  • Three Environmental Excellence Award Winners – Over 100 attending the award luncheon recognizing WasteCap members for their outstanding environmental achievements:

- Lincoln Action Program – Best Waste Reduction & Reuse Program

- Pfizer Inc – Continued Excellence in a Recycling Program

- Pegler Sysco – Recycler of the Year

  • 75 Attendees Enjoying the “Pulp Fashion” recycled-content fashion show – 2003 marked the first performance of the nationally recognized show in Lincoln, Nebraska


A special thank you to all who were involved with the event – vendors, sponsors, partners, and most importantly, attendees!  For further information on the “Business R & R Event” or any other programs and publications offered by WasteCap of Lincoln, please contact our office at 402.436.2383 or [email protected].



Nucor Tire Recycling Program Cuts Costs, Draws National Attention

Nucor Corporation, the parent company of Nucor Steel in Norfolk, Nebraska, is receiving quite a bit of recognition for their latest environmental efforts.  The initiative, which calls for the use of old tires as a high quality coal replacement and source of scrap steel, is being viewed by others in the industry as a plus not only for cost savings, but also the environment. 


The Auburn, New York Nucor facility has been able to show a $1 million cost savings in coal and scrap-steel for the past 18 months by melting tires in its electric-arc furnace.  A former employee at the Nucor Steel facility in Norfolk, Nebraska holds the patent for the new technology of using scrap tires as an alternate carbon source. 


Two external factors – the rising cost of raw steel and the increasing demand for steel in China – have caused the innovative Nucor Corporation to take a closer look at their operations.  For example, the Auburn plant utilizes large quantities of coal to manufacture carbon steel bar products for the automotive, agricultural, and construction industries.  The 500,000 tires used since March 2002 at the facility replaced nearly 4,000 tons of coal and contributed 500 tons of scrap steel (each 20-pound passenger tire contains a few pounds of steel). 


In addition to the significant cost savings, there are many environmental benefits.  The facilities now require less coal for their operations, helping to conserve a natural resource.  The melting tires give off heat energy, helping to reduce the electricity needed to heat the plant.  Also, the new technology is ridding communities of the illegal tire dumpsites, which can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes and are vulnerable to uncontrolled fires. 


Other plants, both those owned by Nucor Corporation and other private firms, are researching the feasibility of starting programs similar to the one at Nucor’s Auburn, New York plant.  Nucor’s bar mill near Jackson, Mississippi and Ipsco, Inc. (Mobile, Alabama) are two other facilities currently in the testing phases with plans to be fully functional by year-end. 


Nucor does charge a small fee to accept tires, but is less stringent of the condition in which they are received since tire rims provide the highly desirable steel scrap.  The Auburn plant now uses tires at a rate of one million a year.  While that may sound like a large number of tires, it pales in comparison to the nearly 300 million scrap tires generated in the U.S. annually.  The sources of used tires will not be thinning out soon either as the Auburn plant has received tires from community collection days, salvage yards, and replacement-tire retailers. 


According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, about 77% of used scrap tires went to end-use markets in 2001.  Of those tires, most (135 million) were used in cement kilns or power plants as fuel.  Thirty-three million tires were ground up to make new tires, asphalt, playground mats, soundproofing materials and other products.  Civil Engineering projects, such as landfills, roads, and septic fields, utilized another 50 million scrap tires.


Click here to read the article in Recycling Today about Nucor Corporation’s innovative scrap tire recycling process.



Holiday Waste Reduction & Recycling Tips from Our Office to Your Home

‘Tis the season to be busy, to be shopping, to be eating, and – don’t forget – to be recycling.  Below are some great holiday waste reduction and recycling tips compiled by Earth 911 and the National Christmas Tree Association


  • Trees:  Recycle your Christmas tree and find local tree cycling centers (click here to find tree recycling sites in Lincoln).  Do not use tinsel or spray your tree with fake snow, as tinsel and white trees cannot be recycled.  You can also use a live, uncut tree and replant it after the holidays.


  • Ornaments:  Make ornaments at home with items you may normally recycle (e.g. paper towel cardboard rolls, toothpicks or Popsicle sticks, old calendar pictures, old Christmas wrap).  Old holiday cards can also be used as ornaments or for holiday décor.


  • Gift Wrap:  Bows, bags, fabrics, newspaper comics, magazines, and decorative boxes can be used for gift wrap.  These items can also be used for holiday décor, and reused every year. 


  • Energy:  Use a timer on your Christmas house and tree lights to avoid keeping lights on all night; you can save a lot of energy this way.


  • Cards:  Save old Christmas cards and create new cards by cutting the picture off.  Old Christmas cards also make great ornaments and holiday décor.  Send E-cards and save paper.


  • Other Useful Tips:  Use dishes, silverware and cloth napkins instead of disposable utensils and paper products.  Avoid wasting food by cooking only the amount of food necessary.  Lower your thermostat a bit when you are not home and save energy.  Visit other Earth 911 sections to learn more.


Cell Phone Tossing to Increase with New Rule 

There are more than 80 million wireless phones sold each year in North America, with consumers updating their wireless devices every 18 months.  By 2008, all analog phones will be phased out of service.  While wireless devices certainly make our lives easier, the e-waste problem of retired devices continues to grow.  Each improperly disposed wireless device contributes arsenic, lead, cadmium, and other toxic materials to our landfills, all of which threaten human health and the environment. 


In November, a new rule was passed for all cell phone users outlining that, should the user choose to switch carriers/providers, that person is able to retain their previous cell phone number.  This has several environmental groups worried that the resulting service provider switchover will lead to a mountain of used cell phones within a few months.   


To address this problem, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) and its member companies have introduced www.recyclewirelessphones.org, a site designed in order to increase public awareness and education on the subject of proper recycling procedures for retired wireless devices.  The site contains information regarding where you can recycle your wireless device, industry efforts to promote recycling, and answers to common questions about wireless device recycling.


This educational effort is most definitely a step in the right direction, however, a new report by INFORM reveals that the efforts of even the most successful cell phone collection programs combined have not been able to recover 1% of the total phones retired and discarded since 1999.  While the 1999 collection totals of 2.5 million phones seem impressive, INFORM’s report Calling All Cell Phones: Collection, Reuse and Recycling Programs in the US, estimates that 100 million cell phones will be discarded this year.  In addition to describing collection methods and successes for the current cell phone recycling programs, the report also discusses recommendations for increasing collection rates, increasing collection participation, and encouraging reuse and recycling through product designs.  For a more detailed description of the report, click here to see an article from Recycling Today.



Retrofit Recycling Pick-Up Dates

Reminder that WasteCap of Lincoln members do receive discounted fluorescent lamp, ballast, electronic and battery recycling services through Retrofit Recycling (800-274-1309) and Environmental Compliance Enterprises (466-2268).  Please let us know if you need an updated price sheet.



29th & 30th



5th & 6th

19th & 20th

26th & 27th



Markets Corner




























Reminder that WasteCap/INFORM Members using Midland Recycling are paid $20 under the reported price for loose cardboard (OCC) and $5 under the reported price for baled cardboard in bales weighing over 1,000 pounds.


Material abbreviations:

OCC- Old Corrugated Cardboard

CPO- Computer Print Out
Mag- Old Magazines
News- Old Newspaper

SOP– Sorted Office Paper



Invisible Ink Makes Recycling Headaches Disappear

A new type of ink called “e-blue” is expected to soon revolutionize the recycling market.  The ink, which can be used in ordinary laser printers as well as in pens, is comprised of three chemicals – two that combine to give the ink its color, and the third that turns the ink transparent when heated.  It’s no mystery why the invention has quickly moved to the mainstream - an “invisible ink” quality will make reuse and recycling processes much easier.  In Japan, the ink is already on the market and is expected to be extremely popular since, while 40% of all office waste in Japan is office paper, only 60% is currently recycled.

For the Complete Story, Visit:




Plastic Bottles Could Replace Steel & Wood in Bridges

Add bridges to the ever-growing list of uses for recycled milk cartons and soda containers.  A team of Rutgers University scientists have proven that their 56-foot-long, one lane bridge in New Jersey has withstood the test of time and traffic.  While the super-strong plastic blend technology used to make the bridge is not quite ready for large, heavy traffic areas, the scientists believe that there is a market out there for small plastic bridges.  Plastic bridges cost about ¾ less than a standard wooden bridge and are preferable to wood ones since they don’t need to be treated with chemicals to ward off insects.

For the Complete Story, Visit:




New Genetically-Engineered “GloFish” Pet Makes Waves 

A glow-in-the-dark tropical zebra fish, owing its red fluorescence to a gene transferred from a sea anemone, has become the first genetically engineered pet available in the United States.  The fish, originally engineered to detect environmental toxins, is creating some controversy in that it could upset the ecological balance in waterways if disposed of improperly.  Regardless, the “GloFish” has hit the market and can be purchased for $5 each at your local pet store.  Glow-in-the-dark fish not your style?  No worries - the Texas-based company is already working on other genetically engineered pets, including an allergen-free cat!

For the Complete Story, Visit:




Animal Doo to Power Tokyo Zoo

A Tokyo-area zoo will begin producing biomass energy in 2005 in order to eliminate annual disposal costs of $275,000 for their 1,060 tons of animal waste.  The zoo will ferment the droppings to create a biogas used to fuel everything – even the shuttle buses – at the zoo.  The processing plant will also produce a fertilizer that will be used to grow food for the zoo animals – thus making a complete, closed-loop recycling program at the zoo.

For the Complete Story, Visit: