- Associated Press - Saturday, November 26, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A petition drive is being prepared by those who want to strengthen Lincoln’s recycling ordinance and reduce the amount paper in the city’s landfill.

Supporters said they’re taking action because of what the City Council did in August, when Mayor Chris Beutler (BYTE’-lur) proposed banning all paper products over three years. That would have required Lincoln residents and businesses to either sign up for curbside recycling with a garbage hauler or take their recyclables to a city recycling site.

The council passed a portion of the proposed ordinance, but rejected the landfill ban on cardboard, newsprint and other paper. Beutler vetoed the ordinance as amended, saying it gutted his recycling plan, which was intended to double the city’s recycling efforts.

Supporters think there is plenty of support for improving the community’s recycling efforts, said Chelsea Johnson, deputy director of the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters and part of a recycling coalition that supported Beutler’s plan.

“We want to be a more sustainable city for future generations,” Johnson told the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2fmbgm8 ).

Recycling supporters will have to gather signatures from about 7,750 registered voters to get an ordinance initiative on the ballot, Lancaster County elections boss Dave Shively said. Those signatures would have to be turned in by around Feb. 13 in order to meet deadlines for the May 2 city election ballot.

Gathering the needed signatures shouldn’t take more than two or three months, said Rick Hoppe, Beutler’s chief of staff.

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

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