- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - A recent study finds that Nebraskans spent more than $30 million in 2013 to get rid of about 885,000 tons of recyclable waste in landfills.

The waste could have been worth $86.5 million had the materials been recycled, The Grand Island Independent (https://bit.ly/1tIWObS ) reported. The study shows that it takes 10 people to recycle every 10,000 tons of waste compared to one person to dispose of it, meaning more recycling could create more jobs.

The report, funded by a Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality grant, is by the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communications, the Nebraska State Recycling Association and the University of Nebraska.

Lincoln’s recycling coordinator, Gene Hunlon, said the study focused on reusable materials found around a home, including cardboard, aluminum, newspaper and plastics.

“Everybody has access to waste collection services in the state, but not everybody has access to recycling services,” Hunlon said.

He said the goal of the study was “to try to get a better understanding of what is being recycled today, where we are at, and where are the gaps.”

The study found that most rural areas in the state don’t have access to recycling services.

“We have a long ways to go before we can say that we can recycle all that could be recycled,” said Mark DeKraai of the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, https://www.theindependent.com


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