City looks to expand recycling program in second year of cardboard ban

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Today, the city celebrates the one year anniversary of the cardboard ban. For the past 365 days, you’ve been keeping cardboard out of the landfill.

Patsy Koch Johns says she had been thinking about recycling for a while, but didn’t know where to start.

“I got a little push from the cardboard law that went into effect,” Koch Johns said. “That kind of said, ‘Ok, you’re going to go over there anyway since you gotta get rid of this cardboard stuff.'”

Now, she recycles everything, from glass bottles to magazines, and she isn’t the only one.

Since the start of the mandatory cardboard ban, the city says it has also seen a voluntary increase in recycling things like glass, plastic and paper.

“We’ve been seeing such a great response from the citizens of Lincoln and Lancaster County,” said Donna Garden, Assistant Director for Transportation and Utilities.

Now, the city says it’s looking to improve the program in year two, by expanding some services.

“There’s a number of areas in commercial and business that I think would really like our help at this point in time,” Garden said. “We are also looking into multi-family housing and how to make recycling accessible for all of those people.”

The city says it has also taken additional bans into consideration.

“Originally we had planned to add two other types of paper products, newspaper and mixed paper products to the ban,” Garden said. “I think right now we’re still assessing. We’ve only been at this a year and we want to make sure our feet are under us and we’re comfortable before looking at other options.”

If the city were to expand the ban, Koch Johns says she’d be all for it.

“I think the cardboard law was a good start, but I think we can do more in the future though, and I hope we do in the future,” Koch Johns said.

As the cardboard ban goes into its second year, the city says it plans to encourage more recycling, but also wants to remind people what can and cannot be recycled.

The main concern at public drop off spots right now is plastic bags.
The city says they’re difficult for processors to use, and can ruin a batch of cardboard if they get mixed in.

For more information on the city’s recycling program, you can visit the
city’s website



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