Area organizations receive recycling grants
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Area organizations receive recycling grants

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Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy Director Jim Macy has announced the award of $6,011,940 in grants to support 161 projects across the state. These grants will help fund litter and waste reduction projects, recycling programs, and pay costs for scrap tire cleanups, and collections for household hazardous waste, electronic waste, and pharmaceuticals.

Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive funds are generated by a fee on solid waste disposed of in landfills, an annual retail business sales fee, and a fee assessed on the sale of new tires. Grants are provided to local integrated waste management projects, and can include recycling systems, household hazardous waste collections, and composting. For 2020, 33 projects totaling $2,415,029 were funded under the Business Fee, Disposal Fee, and Deconstruction of Abandoned Buildings categories.

Also included in the Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive program are the Scrap Tire funds, which are generated from a $1 fee on new tires purchased in Nebraska. In 2020, 77 grants totaling $1,856,735 were awarded. The grants will fund 33 scrap tire cleanup events across Nebraska. Enough funding was awarded to clean up 5,171 tons of scrap tires. Funds will also be used to partially reimburse the cost equipment to process scrap tires and help fund many products made from recycled scrap tires, such as artificial turf football and soccer fields, athletic running tracks, and playground surfacing.

Litter Reduction and Recycling funds are generated from a fee charged to certain manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of products that commonly contribute to litter. The program has provided grants annually since 1979. In 2020, 51 litter grants totaling $1,740,176 were awarded in the public education, cleanup, and recycling categories.

Public education programs educate citizens on litter reduction and recycling through a variety of school and community activities. Priority is given to programs that promote markets for recycled materials or purchasing products made from recycled materials.

Cleanup grants provide funding for Nebraska residents of all ages who pick up litter and debris along Nebraska’s highways, waterways, recreation lands, urban areas, and other public use areas within the state. Not only are the public areas improved through the removal of litter, but also much of the materials collected is recycled. Recycling programs provide an alternative to the disposal of solid waste in Nebraska’s landfills.

Grant applications for 2021 will be available early July 2020. Contact ndeq.wastegrants@nebraska.gov for more information.

The following area organizations were awarded grants:

Arlington Public Schools: Scrap Tire Partial Reimbursement, $13,650, 50% reimbursement of $101,400 pounds of rubber playground mulch for playground.

Village of Dodge: Recycling, $11,350, promote recycling in Dodge by posted signage and educational material mailed quarterly to residents.

Fremont Public Schools: Scrap Tire Partial Reimbursement, $9,936, 50% reimbursement of 64,000 pounds of rubber playground mulch for a playground at Washington Elementary School, which was damaged by the 2019 flood.

Keep Fremont Beautiful Inc.: Public Education, $58,725, public education program involving schools, community events, and a local media campaign to increase resident participation for proper disposal of waste materials; Business Fee, $21,302, funds to hold a household hazardous waste collect event for residents in Fremont and Dodge County, and provide recycling opportunities at public events and maintain an ongoing program to promote waste reduction and improve recycling efforts.

Lyons-Decatur Northeast School: Scrap Tire Partial Reimbursement, $3,627, proposed 25% reimbursement of 1,152 square feet of rubber playground tiles.

Nebraska Loess Hills RC&D – Oakland: Business Fee, $7,025, funds to host one electronic waste collection event in Oakland to serve Burt, Cuming, Dodge, Dakota, Thurston and Washington counties – anticipate collecting 16,000 pounds of electronic waste; Business Fee, $16,988, funds to hold three household hazardous waste collections in Blair, Pender and North Bend – anticipate collecting 30,000 pounds of waste.

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