Industrialized Nebraskans for Organized Recycling Management
November 1999

Governor Attends Christening

The Midland Recycling Glass Benefication Center is up and running after an official christening ceremony attended by the Governor of Nebraska and First Lady Stephanie Johanns on the afternoon of October 28.

The event kicked-off the 1999 America Recycles Day (November 15) activities. Over 200 people attended, many from recycling organizations state-wide, local recyclers and the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

The christening festivities included welcoming remarks from Brian Meng, President of Midland Recycling, and the presentation of a check from the Nebraska Environmental Trust . In addition, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality also helped fund the purchase of the benefication equipment.

Governor Mike Johanns was present to acknowledge his support of recycling with the operation of the new processing center. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by a demonstration of the new equipment. First Lady Stephanie Johanns, honorary Chairperson of America Recycles Day, dropped two bottles of champagne into the hopper. As hundreds watched with bated breath, the glass was transformed into cullet, the material used in the production of recycled glass, and loaded into an awaiting boxcar.

The center will take some of the cost out of glass recycling as it has been necessary to transport the glass out-of-state for processing. Now the processing will be done in Lincoln, opening up the viability of glass recycling programs throughout Nebraska.

America Recycles Day activities continue with a WasteWi$e satellite forum, a number of glass benefication workshops, and various events throughout the state. For more information about America Recycles Day, contact ARD Coordinator, Ann Allen, at [email protected] or the NSRA at 800-248-7328.

INFORM At Buy Recycled Down-link

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Down-link Buying Recycled: The Real Story About Cost, Availability and Quality on the 9th, will serve as the November INFORM meeting. The down-link forum will run from 9 AM to 1 PM and will be held at the Cooperative Extension Service Building located at 444 Cherrycreek Road. The $5 registration fee will include a lunch and refreshments.

Speakers at the forum include Richard Keller of Maryland Environmental Services, Bob Langert from McDonald’s Corp., Susan McCloskey of Office Plan Inc, and Eric Nelson from King County Procurement Services Division. We expect a great turn out.

NSRA Presents Best Practices Seminar

The Nebraska State Recycling Association will present a Best Practices Seminar on Glass held November 8, 1999 at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department Offices, 3140 N Street in Lincoln. The seminar will take place in the Training Center, the white building just north of the main facility. The focus of the seminar will be on the benefits of glass recycling: to protect the environment and provide revenue that communities can use to reduce their recycling costs.

Glass is 100 percent recyclable, a closed loop system, which means that used glass containers can be recycled into new containers over and over again. This benefits the environment by reducing the demand for natural resources.

It has a gentle environmental impact. The recycling process creates no additional waste or by-products, and through recycling glass, air emissions can be reduced.

Glass recycling uses plentiful resources efficiently. Production of glass primarily consists of domestically plentiful nontoxic raw materials: silica sand, soda ash, limestone and recycled glass.

Using recycled glass (cullet) is cost effective from a manufacturing standpoint. Cullet melts at lower temperatures than the raw materials used for glass production. For the glass containers, each 10 percent increase in cullet reduces the melting energy by approximately 2.5 percent. Using recycled glass lowers the industry’s demand for energy and reduces bottom-line production costs.

In addition, communities benefit environmentally and economically. Glass recycling diverts solid waste from landfills. Lower volumes of solid waste lessen the demand for landfill space while simultaneously reducing disposal costs.

INFORM members are encouraged to attend to learn about the numerous benefits of glass recycling.

Information provided by the Nebraska State Recycling Association

WasteCap Procures Member Profiles

WasteCap of Lincoln is currently putting together their Annual Report for 1999. Along with outlining the organizations yearly activities, the WasteCap staff is compiling member profiles to better service INFORM members.

The profiles will include total tonnage of recycled material and a breakdown of these totals by individual commodity. From this data, WasteCap will be able to provide a cost savings analysis for each of our members.

Member profiles are essential to justify the funding of the WasteCap program and to ensure the continued success of business recycling in Lincoln. The commitment of INFORM members to track their volumes throughout the year is invaluable so that the numbers are easily available when we request them in late-December. WasteCap thanks INFORM members for the timely attention given to reporting volumes.

Upcoming America Recycles Day Events

8th • The Nebraska State Recycling Association, in partnership with Midland Recycling, is sponsoring several Glass Benefication workshops in November: Columbus and Lincoln.

9th • Glass Benefication workshops: Broken Bow and Alliance.

BRBA/EPA WasteWi$e satellite forum entitled Buying Recycled: The Real Story about Cost, Availability and Quality. Keep Beatrice Beautiful, will also host a viewing of the forum at their location.

Throughout the month: Keep Alliance Beautiful will collect abandoned/wrecked vehicles for recycling or auction donating a portion of the proceeds to the local Kidney Dialysis Fund, and will hold a Second Chance Tire Amnesty. The Recycling Coordinator for the City of Omaha mailed over 120,000
pledge cards to Omaha residents in their November Wasteline newsletter. The Lakeside Central Future Business Leaders of America in Trenton will be setting up bins for aluminum cans in their new school. The money collected will be used for their school service projects. Elaine Klaege, Tecumseh RC&D, will have ARD displays in two grocery stores with a shopping basket full of recycled content products. Customers will then have the opportunity to purchase those items and then donate them to the Southeast Community Action program for their Food Pantry. The Tecumseh Cub Scout Pack 276 will be assisting with the ARD pledge drive! For more information, contact America Recycles Day Coordinator, Ann Allen at [email protected]

Internet Training Prepares Local Businesspeople for Y2K

WasteCap of Lincoln will host the last of four internet training workshops titled Surfing the Paperless Wave, on November 15. This is the advanced section of the second two-part session.

The workshops are a cooperative effort sponsored by ALLTEL, ExecuTrain and WasteCap and funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust. The focus of the informational seminars is to educate local business people of the alternative communication possibilities available through use of the internet. The training sessions cover basic internet navigation skills with an emphasis on working toward a “Paperless Environment” therefore reducing waste in the office.

The training session will be at the Licolnshire Square Office Park at 70th & “O” streets and run from 8:00 AM to NOON. Contact Carrie Hakenkamp at 472-0888 for more information.

INFORM Members Receive 1999 Recycling and Business Awards

Late last month, a number of INFORM members and friends received awards for their commitment to recycling in Nebraska.

The Nebraska State Recycling Association held their Annual Awards Banquet at the Cornhusker Hotel where the award for Individual Recycler of the Year was given to Chris Zegar of Recycling Enterprises.

Jane Polson of Keep Nebraska Beautiful, graciously accepted the title Nonprofit Recycling Program of the Year on behalf of the Nebraska Materials Exchange.

The Buy Recycled Initiative Award went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for their use of FieldTurf at Memorial Stadium, unprecedented in the U.S.. FieldTurf is made of recycled polyethylene, silica sand and crumb rubber. John Ingram, Director of Facilities was in attendance to receive the award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jack Ekart of Imperial, father of Dale Ekart-UNL, for his life-long contributions to recycling.

From the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, the longstanding Cornerstone Award, recognizing sustained corporate achievement and citizenship was presented to Deon Bahr of Bahr Vermeer & Hacker Architects by the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce at their fourth annual 1999 Celebrate Business Awards.

Found-Art Exhibit Promotes Creative Recycling

About one of his more creative works, Pablo Picasso wrote, “One day, in a rubbish heap, I found an old bicycle seat beside a rusted handlebar, and my mind instantly linked them together.” He turned those discards into a bull’s head.

Picasso was one of the most famous artists who recycled trash into artistic treasures. But he certainly wasn’t the first. And, as the nationally touring exhibition “Trashformations: Recycled Materials in Contemporary American Art and Design” (now at the Cleveland Institute of Art) demonstrates, he surely wasn’t the last.

Recycling materials headed for the trash can into two– and three-dimensional art is an American tradition as old as the country, dating back to the colorful “crazy quilts” woven from scraps of velvet and satin in colonial days, says Lloyd E. Herman, curator of the exhibit.

Art in this show runs the gamut from the purely aesthetic— eye-catching and often thought-provoking pieces made of everything from clothing labels to coffee filters, strips of microfilm and slivers of shattered mirrors—to the functional—chairs, tables, lamps, vases. Some pieces are wearable: jewelry made from glass shards and sink drains; dresses created from plastic six-pack wraps; and knitted garbage bags.

“This was one of our most successful and popular shows in recent memory,” said Bruce Checefsky, director of the Reinberger Galleries at the Cleveland Institute of Art. “Trashformations” concluded a six-week run there on October 3, then was shipped to Alaska for an exhibit at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art from Oct. 30 – Dec. 26.

Directly and indirectly, “Trashformations” promotes recycling. Of the four written panels posted in the show: “The exhibition reminds the viewer that while recycling is necessary to sustain the plant’s resources, it is equally important to buy wisely, use less and keep products longer to reduce the need to recycle” he continued.

“The beauty of this show,” said Julie Fogel, director of public relations at the Cleveland Institute of Art, “is that the art is so tangible and so accessible. You recognize what the works are made out of, things you see in your house everyday.”

After viewing the show, Fogel said, “One can’t help but question the values of a throwaway, disposable society and consider the economic and ecological returns from resourceful recycling.”

Locally,Reena Kazmann, Director of Eco-Artware encourages people to recycle art. Many of their products are listed on their website at These artists are creating exciting and functional works of art out of materials that would otherwise fill up our landfills.

Taken, in part, from Waste News Volume 5, Issue 23, October 18, 1999

South African Recycler Uses Bottles Intact

South African entrepreneur Sean Penrith is setting up shop in the United States, bringing with him a new way to recycle glass bottles. His process involves cutting whole bottles in half and inverting them to create drinking glasses.

“It’s a small niche and it’s creative,” said Joseph Cattaneo, Executive Vice President of the Glass Packaging Institute in Washington, D.C. “It’s clever.”

Green Glass USA L.L.C. Plans to start production May 1 in Stratford, Wisconsin, said Penrith, the company President and CEO. The 29,00-sq. Foot plant initially will process 65,000 beer, wine, liquor and water bottles monthly, moving up to 200,000 monthly within 36 months, he said.

The bottles aren’t melted down and remolded as recyclers in the industry normally do, Penrith said. The patented process uses 100 percent of the bottle, making a new container from an old one.

The plant won’t take just any bottle. Green Glass produces high-end drinking goblets and glasses for the corporate sector to use as premium incentives, gifts and promotional items.

The company pays 20 cents per bottle-a premium– to get the material it needs, Penrith said. Even at that price, which is more than the deposit value in any bottle-bill state, it’s tough to convince recyclers it’s for real.

“They actually think it’s a hoax. They say, ‘Who in their right mind is going to pay 20 cents a bottle when I can only get, once I crush it, 1 cent a bottle?’”

The product has sold phenomenally in Europe and South Africa since Green Glass debuted in 1992, Penrith said. The environmental aspect of a recycled product increases its appeal to corporations to use the glassware as a marketing tool, he continued.

No other recycler in the U.S. Collects whole bottles nationwide.

“They don’t,” he said. “Believe me, I’m setting a trend.”