Industrialized Nebraskans for Organized Recycling Management
July 1999

Landfill Increase Will Affect Local Businesses

This article is the second in a three part series on the Landfill Tipping Fee increase effective September 1st of this year.

Residential and commercial garbage hauling rates will be increasing in September due to a 25% increase in landfill tipping fees. According to local haulers, the increased gate fees at the landfill will dramatically affect their businesses and they will need to charge more money to compensate for the increase. Although the increase will not be uniform to all customers, it will be proportionate to the amount of waste that they are disposing of. When asked if more businesses would implement recycling programs or improve upon their current programs, most of the haulers felt that recycling is more of an environmental decision rather than an economic decision, so the fee increase would not be an incentive to implement or improve recycling programs.

According to Mike Palmer (Palmer and Sons Refuse), President of the Lincoln Solid Waste Management Association, “Anytime there is an increase in fees, it needs to be passed on to the generators of the garbage.” Daren Shrader of Shrader Refuse believes any tensions that arise out of the fee increase will be directed toward the haulers rather than the City, “because they are the one’s who are dealing with the public”. For some haulers, the fee increase to the City may be as much as $20,000 per month and will need to be absorbed through higher charges to their customers.

Each hauler interviewed had differing ideas as to how much of an increase could be expected. Some haulers have yet to figure out how to change their rates. Either way, the City has estimated that the increase for residential customers will be between eighty cents and one dollar per month. Commercial customer fees are not so easy to decide. Besides looking at inflation, vehicle maintenance, rising fuel costs, and employee expenses, haulers need to estimate weights for the businesses. According to Palmer, “This is an appropriate time to tack on extra fees to cover expenses. People are sensitive to increasing rates so you don’t want to do it very often.” Other haulers, such as Gomez Refuse, Shrader Refuse and Midwest Refuse, plan to increase their commercial rates by the amount of tipping fee increase. Most agreed that restaurants will see a larger increase than other businesses because of the weight of their trash. According to a Department of Environmental Quality Guidance document, one cubic yard of food waste weighs 1,526 pounds as compared with one cubic yard of office paper weighing 380 pounds or cardboard weighing 150 pounds per cubic yard.

To determine the commercial increase, haulers will look at the type of business and estimate their tonnage. The increase will be based on tonnage rather than service. Daren Shrader has noted that he will be sending a 30-day notice to his customers, advising them of the change and what their new payment will be. He has also spoken with some of his customers to encourage recycling in order to keep their hauling fees down. According to Shrader, “Bluff Run is a very nice, well kept landfill and they do a really good job. I’m happy to pay for a nice landfill that we can easily maneuver in and out of and that does not contaminate the ground water.”

WasteCap offers free waste assessment services to local businesses. The assessments look at current and possible recycling programs and how to improve. If you or someone you know is interested in WasteCap’s services, please contact Carrie Hakenkamp at 472-0888.

NETF Computer Training Workshops

WasteCap of Lincoln, in conjunction with Aliant Communications and ExecuTrain, will be hosting four Internet training workshops. The workshops, funded by a Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund (NETF) grant that was awarded to WasteCap this year, have been designed to educate business people on the use of electronic communication for purposes of waste reduction.

The workshops will be offered in two Sessions with two classes for each Session. Class I will cover basic Internet skills including Internet searches, creating bookmarks and saving information found on the web. Class II will cover e-mail, attachments, and newsgroups. Each Class will be offered twice, once in each Session. The workshops have been designed to fit together, with Class II building on the curriculum of Class I. Although Class I is not a prerequisite to Class II, it is strongly recommended that Class I be taken before advancing. Basic computing skills such as Windows 95, opening programs and working with documents and windows are required for the Classes.

All Classes are offered at ExecuTrain, 1500 South 70th Street, Suite 201. Classes begin promptly at 8:00 a.m. Fees for each Class are $15.00 per person. Space is limited. Below is a Schedule of Classes:


Session A: Registration Deadline: August 3, 1999

Class I Friday, August 13, 1999 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Class II Monday, September 13, 1999 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Session B Registration Deadline: October 8, 1999

Class I Monday, October 18, 1999 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Class II Monday, November 15, 1999 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

No More Excuses

The results are in. Paper containing 30 percent post-consumer fiber (30% PC) works just fine. Canon U.S.A., Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Lexmark International, Inc., and the U.S. Government Printing Office recently evaluated the quality and performance of multipurpose recycled content copy paper containing higher levels of post-consumer fiber than ever before. Their tests show that the paper is equivalent to other similar papers.

During the fall and winter of 1998, Canon U.S.A., Hewlett Packard, and Lexmark evaluated three brands of 30% PC multipurpose recycled content paper, using paper with 20%-25% PC and virgin fiber content as controls. GPO also tested over a dozen brands of 30% PC copy paper. Altogether, over 2 million sheets were tested on various types and models of copiers, laser printers, and ink jet printers for physical properties and performance. Tests covered paper feeding, reliability, image quality, toner fixability, smoothness and curl, among other things. The 30% PC studies showed equivalent performance to 20%-25% PC and virgin papers.

There are no more excuses. Multipurpose recycled-content paper containing 30% PC fiber works in your office equipment. To obtain a copy of the flyer promoting the results of this study, please go to the Recycling at Work Web site: You can also request a copy by calling Jennifer DeLong, Program Manager, at (202) 861-6776.

Taken from recycling at work., Summer

Materials Exchange Featured at INFORM

The June INFORM meeting highlighted the effectiveness of the Materials Exchange Program through guest speaker, Elaine Gilmore. The Materials Exchange Program began in 1994 as a passive design of Keep Nebraska Beautiful, modeled after an existing Iowa program. Queries were received and acted on solely by Jane Polson, the current Director of Keep Nebraska Beautiful. In the first 37 months of operations, 27 matches were found for unwanted materials. In October of 1997, Elaine Gilmore and Mike Engel applied their skill full time in addition to one part-time employee to bring the current total matches to 353 statewide and almost two million pounds of material diverted from Nebraska landfills.

Elaine outlined the elements necessary for the success of the program and shared some of their recent accomplishments. The Materials Exchange is a grant-funded program of the private, non-profit organization Keep Nebraska Beautiful. They list available materials in their quarterly newsletter, which is available on-line, while actively networking with companies statewide to find new uses for these unwanted items. The program acts as an educator to businesses of the value in reusing materials and is available for on-site evaluations of a company’s waste stream. Elaine stresses the importance of finding the right person within a company, possessing patience and cooperation, to make the match a success. Once that person is found, the Exchange continues to track the cost and savings to the customer who received the products. Every item is accounted for in their database on spreadsheets and calls are made to ensure those involved derive continued satisfaction from their efforts.

The majority of organizations who contact the Materials Exchange Program are businesses, who are the main producers of “waste” materials. The time window for recovery varies from individuals; however, the most unusual items frequently are the first to go. Routinely, schools are active in the search for salvaged materials and become the recipients of these products. There are 19 Keep Nebraska Beautiful affiliates within the state, none of which take possession of any materials, yet do make numerous phone calls and take brochures out to neighborhoods as well as local businesses. In addition, the Exchange holds well-developed out-of-state contacts with companies like the Environmental Recycling Corporation of Massena, IA.

If your organization is interested in more information about the Materials Exchange Program at Keep Nebraska Beautiful, contact Elaine Gilmore at 486-4622 or visit them on-line @

New Rules Target Fluorescent Tubes

Washington-Recycling rates for fluorescent lamps containing mercury could soar under new federal guidelines, one recycling group believes.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled last week changes to Subtitle C hazardous waste rules applying to spent mercury-containing light bulbs. The move makes recycling less expensive and easier, the federal government said.

The Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers, a newly formed group, praised the classification of the light bulbs as a so-called “universal waste.”

That EPA designation lessens the regulatory burden and makes it less expensive in terms of record keeping, storage, transportation and disposal for recyclers, said Michael Bender, the association’s spokesman.

The move “will better protect public health and the environment from mercury contamination by encouraging the recycling of fluorescent lamps and other common products that contain toxic wastes,” EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner said.

“It is a common-sense step to ensure that these wastes are managed more safely and cost effectively, she said.

There’s an estimated 1 billion fluorescent lamps discarded each year, the EPA said. The association estimates only about 10 percent are recycled.

Bender called the new universal waste designation “the best of both worlds.” Regulations remain for lamps that are thrown away, but the changes will result in improvements to the environment.

The new rules allow lamp users to transport packaged used lamps to recycling centers on regular trucks instead of using hazardous waste haulers, the company said. Record keeping also moves from the user to the recycler.

Mercury is a toxic pollutant that accumulates in people. Children absorb more mercury as a percentage of their body weight than adults, so they are especially at risk, the EPA said.

Fiber Demand is on the Rise

The old corrugated container market continues to heat up, with reports from throughout the country noting that prices are up sharply. Further proof that markets could continue to strengthen through the summer are preliminary indications that demand and prices could climb even further in July and later this summer.

According to a number of paper stock dealers June OCC prices to the mill have moved up between $10-$15 a ton, with some mills paying premiums to obtain enough material to run the machines.

One large Midwestern paper stock dealer goes even further, noting that they have run out of fiber for their orders due to surging demand from domestic mills.

The promising sign for many paper stock dealers is the strength in the domestic market, which had helped strengthen the overall condition.

Other grades have been benefiting from this improved scenario. Mixed paper and double-lined kraft cuttings have been seeing improved markets over the past several months. Mixed paper, although still a low-priced item, has been garnering greater interest with the higher prices being offered by OCC.

Along with the movement of material, the continued strength in the building products industry has allowed for better demand for mixed paper.

Taken from Fibre Market News, Friday, June 18, 1999.

Lincoln Composites Joins INFORM

Lincoln Composites has been in Lincoln since 1963. They produce specialty filament wound composite structures, such as rocket motor cases, aircraft fuel tanks, natural gas vehicle fuel tanks, and pressure vessels. Lincoln Composites was one of the founding members of the INFORM Coalition and has rejoined the network of businesses recycling in Lincoln. Currently, they are recycling office paper, empty metal drums, aluminum oxide blasting grit, various used oils, raw production materials, epoxy resins, and hardeners. They are also recycling fluorescent light tubes and are looking into INFORM’s memorandum with Light Cycle. Stacey Hawkey with be the INFORM representative for Lincoln Composites.