- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Republican majority of the Lincoln City Council has passed an altered version of the mayor’s proposed recycling ordinance.

The ordinance passed Monday eliminates the landfill ban on paper and cardboard that supporters of Mayor Chris Beutler’s (BYTE’-lur) proposal say is imperative to boosting the recycling rate, the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2apQDF9 ) reported.

The new ordinance retains a requirement that waste haulers offer curbside recycling and give the city data about the number of customers and pounds of material diverted from the landfill.

Councilman Trent Fellers, a Republican and author of the new version of the recycling ordinance, said his proposal moves Lincoln’s recycling forward.

“It enhances our ability to collect data on recycling,” Fellers said. “I don’t appreciate it as being framed as education only. There is a lot more here than is being portrayed.”

Mayoral aide Jon Carlson said that a landfill ban on paper and cardboard is what drives a higher recycling rate and that without the ban, the ordinance loses effect.

He said that educating the public without a diversion plan leads to only a 1 to 3 percent increase in recycling. But banning items from the landfill could double the recycling rate from the current 22 percent to 44 percent, Carlson said.

Councilwoman Jane Raybould, a Democrat, compared the new version of the recycling ordinance to teaching someone how to bake without giving them an oven.

“This is pretty much half-baked,” Raybould said. “You are not giving them all the tools they need.”

Donna Garden, assistant director of Public Works and Utilities said that without the ban, Lincoln will also likely lost two recycling grants, totaling $339,000, from the state.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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