Recycling Options

The future of recycling and waste options on the table. Cass County is awaiting word on a grant application to the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) Fund that would help fund a two year study.

The Cass County Board of Commissioners authorized the grant application prepared by FirstStar Fiber.

The Cassgram reports“NET’s assistance will help grow Cass County’s existing recycling programs, and as importantly, support the launch of what should prove to be a model for local governments to collaborate with one another and their residents to enhance and protect our environment from a multitude of challenges facing our rural county,” said the application.

The goal is to pull the county together to promote resource conservation programs and policies. That effort will be led by a Stewardship Council.

Issues to be tackled include minimizing transport costs of the countywide recycle trailers and increasing recycling availability. The council would “serve as a sounding board, research group, catalyst and eventually a source of information and funding so as to be a sustainable means to implement a plethora of conservation measures…”

The application relates how in 2009 the Cass County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution that led to the “Cass County Going Green” effort which developed into the current recycling program. Then in June of this year commissioners voted to look at expanding the recycling program and simultaneously update the county’s solid waste plan, something that hadn’t been done since 1994. Public meetings were held this past summer.

The grant application says the Stewardship Council is expected to be at 20 members by the end of this year and there is an outline of tasks to be completed from the spring of 2014 through 2015.

Among the informational points in the 16-page application:

-Cass County is unique because major tourist attractions located here mean that a lot of the waste generated is from visitors.

-Cass County residents now pay $31.52 a ton to dispose of wastes in nearby Sarpy County. Fees are logically expected to increase when the Sarpy County landfill closes and wastes are shipped 60 miles to David City.

-In 2009 the countywide recycling program recycled 44 tons and no trash haulers provided curbside recycling pickup. In 2013 the county is on track to recycle almost 10 times the 2009 amount with the help of some trash haulers who now offer curbside service.

-Still the 2013 recycling “sadly” represents less than 3% of the county’s total waste stream and the Stewardship Council will be challenged to match the 16% level that the City of Lincoln has reached.

Nancy Josoff, the county election commissioner, has been involved in the recycling program since its inception and is the county’s contact person on the NET grant application. She says work has also started on a grant application to the department of environmental quality that would help with broader development of the waste plan.

---The recycle trailer at Plattsmouth was full on Monday morning and the trailer will not be accepting recyclables again until Thursday.

HIGHWAY 34 ACCIDENT late Monday afternoon -- One vehicle hit another from behind and pushed it into oncoming traffic.

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