WasteCap of Lincoln’s E-Newsletter

June 2003

Water, water everywhere…. The recent rainy weather has gotten everyone thinking more about water.  These highlighted news stories show that, even though water already covers 70% of Earth’s surface, it still affects 100% of our lives.    

We moved!  Effective May 9th, WasteCap relocated its office space to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.  Check out the website at www.wastecaplnk.org for updated contact information.   

Computer Collection News: WasteCap’s next computer and electronics collection will be held at State Fair Park in Lincoln on August 8th – more details to follow soon!

Upcoming Talk & Tours: Pfizer has agreed to be the host for WasteCap’s next Talk & Tour in July 2003.  Program highlights include new cafeteria’s waste reduction and recycling program as well as the positive effects from a highly involved employee recycling committee. 

Mark Your Calendars…. Midland Recycling will be hosting a press conference on July 16th from 3 pm – 4 pm to unveil their new shredding system as well as a full-scale model of the mobile environmental education trailer for their recent $111,000 NDEQ Grant.  The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and local dignitaries will be on hand to celebrate the event with an official ribbon cutting.

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

What’s New for June 2003:

¨      WasteCap’s New Member Profile

¨      Folsom Children’s Zoo & Botanical Gardens

¨      WasteCap of Lincoln Accepts Earth Day Omaha Award

¨      Midland Recycling Receives $111,000 Grant to Build Educational Trailer

¨      WasteCap Offers New Toner Cartridge & Cell Phone Recycling Option

¨      Refuse Hauler’s Occupational Tax Discussion

¨      Retrofit Recycling Pick-Up Dates

¨      Markets Corner

¨      Cities Making Their Own Rain

¨      Louisiana Sinking, Coasts Disappearing

¨      Waterless Urinals Make Splash

¨      Nemo’s Home Receives More Protection

¨      San Francisco Bay to Produce Own Power

¨      China’s Newest Dam Provides Clean Power, Massive Flooding

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.

Folsom Children’s Zoo & Botanical Gardens

The Folsom Children's Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a privately funded 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that has been in operation since 1965.  The mission of the Zoo is “to influence present and future generations through conservation, education and related research as well as to encourage interaction with nature, plants and animals in an enjoyable environment."  There are 17 year round employees to help maintain the 300 animals from 6 continents and over 100 species of trees, shrubs, and woody plant material.  The Zoo has an extensive educational focus, with such programs as the “Zoo School” Science Focus High School, teacher workshops, Wild Wednesdays, Wild in the City, “Bug Bash!,” “Doing Science as a Community of Learners,” and “Our Zoo to YOU.”

Folsom Children’s Zoo has had an active recycling program for over five years now.  In addition to recycling office paper, cardboard, newspaper, plastic, tin, and aluminum, the Zoo oftentimes shreds paper on-site for use as animal bedding.  Thanks to recycling container donations by Pepsi, the office soft drink of the Zoo, plastic pop bottle recycling will be added to the recycling program this summer. 

This summer, 1.5 million Pepsi cans will be distributed in eastern Nebraska featuring a $0.50 off coupon on a pony or train ride good for the Zoo’s 2003 season.  Zoo Crew members will collect, recycle and sell the aluminum cans brought to the Zoo, with proceeds going directly toward international conservation efforts.  

The Zoo is also planning an event entitled “Kids for the Planet” on August 23, 2003.  Highlights of the event include inflatable “Mountain Dew Obstacle Course” maintained and donated by Pepsi, a 53-foot mobile environmental education trailer donated by Midland Recycling, and several hands-on activities focused on teaching families about the importance of recycling and conservation.  For more information on this event as well as the Pepsi can coupons, please visit their website at www.lincolnzoo.com.

WasteCap of Lincoln Accepts Earth Day Omaha Award

The Omaha Earth Day Coalition recognized WasteCap as a “Corporate Friend of the Environment” for excellence in waste reduction education and recycling services.  The 2003 Earth Day Celebration was moved to May 10th due to the rainy weather in April, but to no avail.  The rain on the Saturday event forced the cancellation of some exhibits such as the rock-climbing wall and inflatable playroom.  The celebration continued despite the seasonal weather.  The day’s event included visits from Sherman the bear and his animal friends, free spruce seedlings from the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District, Native American drumming and dancing, and pony rides for all the children in attendance.  Other “Corporate Friend of the Environment” award winners were

  • U.S. Senator Ben Nelson for protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling.
  • Kinko’s Inc. for corporate leadership on renewable energy and recycling.
  • Joslyn Art Museum for promoting a “reduce, reuse and recycle” business ethic.
  • Firstar Fiber Inc. for excellence in recycling services.

Midland Recycling Receives $111,000 Grant to Build Educational Trailer 

Midland Recycling, in partnership with WasteCap of Lincoln, a program of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, was awarded grant funding of $111,157 from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s (NDEQ) Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentives Grant Program.  Altogether, the state received 38 eligible applications requesting approximately $3.3 million for integrated solid waste management facilities and projects.  Approximately $2.4 million was awarded for 30 projects throughout Nebraska. 

The funds awarded to Midland Recycling and WasteCap of Lincoln will be used to purchase, build and design a Mobile Environmental Education Center.  The two-year project will convert a 53-foot semi trailer into an interactive environmental classroom for people of ages.  The concept is based on projects completed in Iowa and Tennessee.  At its completion, the Center will include over 20 still and interactive informational displays including electronic kiosks and training video displays.  The completed Center will be constructed using environmentally friendly, recycled and energy efficient materials.  A coalition of local civic, business and educational leaders will design all of the educational displays.  The display panels will include such information as recycling, soil and water conservation, energy efficiency, green building design, composting, pollution prevention and an array of other topics. 

Midland Recycling will be hosting a kick-off event for the Education Center on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 from 3 pm to 4 pm at their facility at 440 “J” Street.  Local dignitaries, the NDEQ and the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce will be on-hand for the unveiling of the Center and a ribbon cutting of Midland’s new confidential document destruction technology, enabling clients to view their document destruction via web-cast.  A completed Mobile Education Center will be available for attendees to see first-hand the concept of the project.  For more information, please contact WasteCap of Lincoln Director Carrie Hakenkamp at (402) 436-2384 or Midland Recycling’ General Manager, Mike Foster at (402) 476-8502.  

WasteCap Offers New Toner Cartridge & Cell Phone Recycling Option

WasteCap has begun a new partnership with “Cartridges for Kids,” an organization that assists non-profits raise funds and keep toner cartridges and used cell phones out of the landfill.  Participation in the program is easy.  If your business has empty toner cartridges (inkjet, laser, fax, and copier cartridges) and/or used cell phones (working and non-working), simply contact WasteCap to enroll in the program.  WasteCap provides boxes and an information sheet on the “Cartridges for Kids” program to each participating business.  All that is required of the business is a phone call to the “Cartridges” program to schedule a pick-up when the collection boxes are full.  WasteCap is promoting this organization since it provides a convenient way to keep cartridges and cell phones out of the landfill as well as a funding opportunity for WasteCap.

Contact our office at 436-2383 or [email protected] if you are interested in starting a toner cartridge and/or cell phone recycling program at your business. 

Refuse Hauler’s Occupational Tax Discussion

The occupational tax for refuse haulers has been a hot topic for quite some time now.  For further information about this matter, such as Waste Connection’s Lawsuit, click here.  The following explanatory article has been reprinted from the Spring 2003 edition of WasteLinc with the permission of the City of Lincoln.

What is the occupation tax?

Any refuse hauler in the City of Lincoln will pay an occupation tax of $7 per ton on all waste collected in the City and any waste collected in the County and transported to the Bluff Road Landfill.  The occupation tax will be used to offset all or a portion of the cost for integrated solid waste management services provided by the City.  This includes programs such as yard waste composting, the small vehicle transfer station, recycling, household hazardous waste collection, special waste permitting, pollution prevention technical assistance, illegal dump clean-up, old landfill closure and other non-disposal services.

Will homeowners see an increase in their waste collection fees as a result of the occupation tax?

Residents should not pay more in their monthly garbage bills as a result of the occupation tax.  Currently, refuse haulers pay the City a total of $17 per ton to dispose of the waste in the Bluff Road Landfill.  The total system fee will remain at $17 per ton.  The occupation tax will be $7 per ton while the landfill tipping fee will drop to $10 per ton.  The landfill tipping fee will cover the costs associated with disposal of waste in the Bluff Road Landfill.

Will other fees be changed as part of the occupation tax ordinance?

No.  All other fees will remain the same.  Fees for the yard waste composting facility, transfer station, construction and demolition debris disposal area, as well as fees for appliances and tires will not change.

Where will the funds from the occupation tax and landfill tipping fees be used?

The $10 landfill tipping fee will only fund disposal operations and construction of the Bluff Road Landfill.  The $7 per ton occupation tax will fund community services related to Lincoln and Lancaster County’s integrated solid waste management plan.  These services include, but are not limited to, the yard waste composting program, the small vehicle transfer station, recycling, household hazardous waste collection program, special waste permitting program, pollution prevention technical assistance, illegal dumping clean-up, solid waste nuisance complaints and the closure of the North 48th Street Landfill.

How will the occupation tax be enforced?

The occupation tax relies on the self-reporting of refuse haulers on where the waste is generated.  The ordinance allows the City to review a firm’s records.  In the event that a firm does not pay the occupation tax, its license to collect refuse in the city of Lincoln could be revoked.

Will businesses be required to pay the occupation tax?

Yes. Any person or business engaged in the business of collecting, hauling or conveying refuse, or who, as part of the duties of such person’s occupation, collects, hauls, or conveys refuse will be required to pay the occupation tax.

What if a hauler takes refuse to another landfill?

A hauler taking refuse from the City of Lincoln to another landfill outside the County must first determine the amount of the occupation tax to be paid to the City by having their vehicles weighed at either of the two scales located at the Bluff Road Landfill or the North 48th Street Landfill.  The City will also provide a third scale location at Shoemaker’s Truck Stop.  This alternate scale will only be available for refuse haulers having an active charge account with the City and who maintain updated tare weights for their refuse hauling vehicles.

As a homeowner hauling my own refuse to the Bluff Road Landfill, will I be charged the occupation tax?

No, individuals hauling refuse from their own residence will not pay the occupation tax.  Persons must provide their name, address and phone number of their residence from which the refuse is being hauled from and loads may be inspected to ensure compliance.

Will an occupation tax apply to loads taken to the transfer station?

No, the transfer station is operated for the convenience and safety of customer hauling refuse in small vehicles.  On occasion, larger vehicles normally using the Bluff Road Landfill are routed to the transfer station during inclement weather.  These vehicles will be charged the occupation tax just as if they were using the landfill.

If you have questions related to the ordinance, contact Steve Owen, Solid Waste Operations, at 441-7867.

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.


23rd & 24th 


7th & 8th

14th & 15th

28th & 29th

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

Cities Making Their Own Rain

New research shows that large cities, such as Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, and Houston, are increasing the amount of rainfall within their city limits.  This is due to the “urban heat island” effect, where the concentration of buildings, roads, and other artificial surfaces retain heat and cause warm air to rise.  This rising warm air produces clouds that result in more rainfall around these cities.  Rainfall rates have shown to be 40% greater in sections downwind of Houston.

For the Complete Story, Visit:


Louisiana Sinking, Coast Disappearing

Experts reported recently that the state of Louisiana lost 1,900 square miles of coastal land in the 20th century – that’s roughly the size of Delaware! Federal and state scientists say that the state can expect to lose another 700 square miles by 2050 if no new restoration takes place.  This wetland loss is primarily due to dams, levees, navigation projects, and channels associated with the Mississippi River.  Louisiana’s coastal wetlands make up the seventh largest delta on Earth, containing some 40% of U.S. tidal marshes and supporting the largest commercial fishery in the lower 48 states.

For the Complete Story, Visit:


Waterless Urinals Make Splash

A new urinal design that requires no water or a flush could save 40,000 gallons of water per year for each model installed.  Falcon Waterfree Technologies, maker of the urinals, states that the devices are completely sanitary and plans to keep pressing for changes to building codes that are currently holding back the widespread use of the new urinals.  The Los Angeles plumbing code requires that all sanitary devices be hooked up to a water supply, which is not necessary for the new, flush-less urinals.  The holdback hasn’t prevented the Rose Bowl from installing and thoroughly enjoying their 259 new fixtures.

For the Complete Story, Visit:


Nemo’s Home Receives More Protection

The Great Barrier Reef, home to the characters in Pixar’s newest hit “Finding Nemo,” will have nearly one-third of its area be off-limits to fishing and trawling.  It is reported to provide the largest network of protected marine areas in the world.  While environmental advocates admit that this is a great first step, additional precautions need to be added in the future, such as protecting additional sensitive sections of the reef, curbing oil and gas exploration in reef areas, and tackling climate change which causes coral reef bleaching. 

For the Complete Story, Visit:


San Francisco Bay to Produce Own Power

San Francisco is making plans to become the first city powered by its own water.  Every day, almost 400 billion gallons of water rush through the mouth of the San Francisco Bay - more than enough to power the entire city if the energy from the tidal movement could be captured.  San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to investigate commercial tidal power when it signed on to a $2 million pilot project to generate electricity using the tides in the bay. 

For the Complete Story, Visit:


China’s Newest Dam Provides Clean Power, Massive Flooding

China recently blocked the flow of the Yangtze River by closing gates at the massive Three Gorges Dam and began to fill up what will be the world's largest reservoir.  The reservoir will grow to be 385 miles long and a mile wide - submerging two cities and 1,352 villages and eventually displacing up to 2 million people.  The world’s largest dam will ultimately be able to crank out 18,200 megawatts of clean energy a year, the equivalent of 26 nuclear power plants or 10 big coal-fired power stations burning 50 million tons of coal.

For the Complete Story, Visit: