Omaha sees year-over-year spike in recycling

New numbers are in.
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 5:57 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Recycling is booming in the City of Omaha. December was the first full month of residents using FCC’s new carts, and recycling is up nearly 35% compared to December 2019.

City leaders say the change to carts is a major reason why.

“Previously, those five containers was quite a bit you could set out by the curb and the extra bag,” said Matt O’Connell, Omaha’s recycling coordinator. “In order to have capacity from one week to the next, I think people are paying attention to what they are putting into the waste cart and recycling properly.”

But that’s not the only factor. O’Connell said consumption is up.

“More people are working from home so, people are having more meals at home, more online shopping so all of those things are contributing to an increase in material,” he said.

O’Connell said the increase of single-use containers is another big reason why they are seeing an uptick in recyclables — and that’s not a good thing.

“We always want to talk about reduce, reuse, recycle because as consumption goes up there’s a lot more single-use materials than there was even 5-10 years ago. So, we do need to be aware of what we are consuming,” he said.

The city is planning to do a study on how this is impacting tonnage at landfills and whether it is causing the amount of trash they see to decrease.

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