from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

For more information,contact
Brian McManus (402) 471-4223, or
Amanda Woita (402) 471-4243
For Immediate Release
July 9, 2009

DEQ Awards $2 Million in Waste Reduction and Recycling Grants

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Director Mike Linder today announced the awarding of $2,027,679 in grants for waste reduction and recycling projects. The grants are available through the Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Grant Fund. This fund is generated by a fee on solid waste disposed of in landfills (disposal fee), an annual retail business sales fee (business fee), and a fee assessed on the sale of new tires for motor vehicles (tire fee). Tire fee grants totaling over $2.5 million for projects related to tire recycling were previously announced in May.

Examples of 2009 grant recipients include:

  • Educational Service Units in Kearney, Hastings, Fremont and Ogallala have been awarded a combined $175,760 to conduct chemical cleanouts in their school labs, janitorial closets and maintenance facilities. Some of these chemicals are very old, dangerous, unstable, and even radioactive, and need to be handled safely. A component of the grant is to advise school chemistry teachers and administrators on the types and quantities of chemicals that could pose hazards, and to properly handle and remove these chemicals.
  • Horizon Biofuels, Inc. in Fremont was awarded $34,407 for the purchase of equipment to produce pellet fuel from sources such as waste wood, cardboard, newspaper and storm debris. The plant is an old feed mill which had stood vacant for a number of years.
  • The Nebraska Pharmacy Foundation, Nebraska MEDS Program, headquartered in Lincoln, was awarded $13,357 to educate patients across the state about proper disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications. The project will provide educational materials to pharmacies, libraries and other businesses for distribution to consumers in Nebraska.
  • Sandhill Plastics, Inc. in Kearney was awarded $51,000 to purchase equipment used in the manufacture of flooring products made with 100% recycled material. The material consists of 60% recycled rubber and 40% recycled plastics.

Below is a list of all 2009 grants awarded in the business fee and disposal fee categories:

BUSINESS FEE - $670,150 was awarded to 16 individuals, and public, private, or non-profit organizations.
  • Grand Island Area Clean Community System, $80,000, to hold eight household hazardous waste and electronics collections.
  • Horizon Biofuels, Inc. (Fremont), $34,407, to fund a pellet mill, forklift, stretch wrap machine and a spark detection / fire suppression system for the production of biopellet fuel.
  • Journal Star Recycling (Lincoln), $19,891, to fund two recycling trailers for use at "eco-friendly" events. Matching funds will be used for production of a 16-page recycling guide.
  • Keep Alliance Beautiful, $20,435, for the purchase of six replacement Dempster bins, two small recycling trailers for cardboard and #1 plastic and personnel safety equipment.
  • Keep Chadron Beautiful, $35,000, for the pickup of cardboard and white office paper in the Chadron area (90 paper recycling sites and 72 cardboard recycling sites). Also includes equipment consisting of recycling bins and receptacles.
  • Keep Columbus Beautiful, $10,000, to fund a household hazardous waste event.
  • Keep Keith County Beautiful (Ogallala), $4,377, to fund a household hazardous waste collection for residents of Keith County and the surrounding areas.
  • Keep Kimball Beautiful, $14,052, for operating expenses for the regional recycling program and for the purchase of an electric pallet jack.
  • Keep Nebraska Beautiful (Lincoln), $31,038, to continue development of five statewide programs: 1. School chemical cleanout program; 2. Household hazardous waste programs in four counties; 3. Develop antifreeze & used oil filter recycling; 4. Initiate a public awareness effort for proper disposal of pharmaceutical drugs; 5. Promote participation of statewide school recycling programs.
  • Keep Nebraska Beautiful (Lincoln), $73,757, for the continuation of the Waste Exchange Program. A total of 23,498,633 pounds of material was exchanged for reuse or recycling in 2008. A total of 178,251 gallons of used oil was collected for reuse in the prior year.
  • Keep North Platte-Lincoln County Beautiful, $30,849, for the completion of comprehensive recycling program including education programming in partnership with the City of North Platte.
  • Nebraska Loess Hills Resource Conservation & Development (Oakland), $11,984, for the funding for three Household Hazardous Waste collection events for Dodge County, Thurston County and Washington County.
  • Nebraska Loess Hills Resource Conservation & Development (Oakland), $2,850, to conduct an electronic waste collection, including obsolete television sets, in Decatur.
  • Nebraska Pharmacy Foundation (Lincoln), $13,357, for public education on the proper disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Nucor Corporation (Norfolk), $11,400, for a computer and electronics collection event in Norfolk (includes televisions). Also, includes appliance and aluminum collections.
  • PrairieLand Resource Conservation and Development Council (Madison), $8,450, for the collection of electronic waste within the six counties, (Madison, Boone, Nance, Platte, Colfax & Stanton), under the PrairieLand RC&D with a goal of 40,000 lbs.
  • Recycling Enterprises of NE, Inc. (Lincoln), $17,303, to purchase trailer and containers for recycling site.
  • Recycling Enterprises of NE, Inc. (Lincoln), $200,000, for a horizontal auto tie baler to increase the volume of materials processed at the recycling center.
  • Sandhill Plastics, Inc. (Kearney), $51,000, for equipment used in the manufacture of flooring products made with 100% recycled material.

DISPOSAL FEE - $1,357,529 was awarded to 18 counties, municipalities, and agencies. Funding is available to political subdivisions only.
  • City of Kearney, $29,060, for a skid steer loader to process recyclables at the city's recycling center.
  • City of Lincoln, $18,139, for the continuation of "Lincoln Recycles" education campaign.
  • City of Lincoln, $78,300, to purchase 22 recycling containers of various sizes for the City of Lincoln's drop-off program, and contractual funds to construct a concrete pad at the Malcolm drop off site.
  • City of McCook, $72,993, for a baler to be used at the City's recycling center.
  • City of Omaha, $277,000, for operating expenses and disposal costs for the City of Omaha Household Hazardous Waste Facility. (fifth year of a five-year project)
  • City of Papillion, $21,250, for a brush chipper for mulching of trees and planter beds in and around the City of Papillion.
  • City of Tecumseh, $42,500, for a brush chipper for clearing right-of-ways, electric line clearances and removal of dead trees.
  • Educational Service Unit #10 (Kearney), $24,360, for the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign for seven schools in the ESU #10 Service area.
  • Educational Service Unit #16 (Ogallala), $68,650, for the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign in 21 schools in ESU #15, #16, and #17.
  • Educational Service Unit #2 (Fremont), $41,625, for the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign for schools in the ESU #2 and #7 areas.
  • Educational Service Unit #9 (Hastings), $41,125, for the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign in ESU 9 & ESU 11.
  • Lexington Area Solid Waste Agency (LASWA), $26,453, for seven household hazardous waste and electronics collections in the LASWA district.
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Dept, $58,725, for six to eight household hazardous waste collection events in Lancaster County, which includes two usable paint exchanges, two conditionally exempt small quantity generator collection events, and the Safe Homes for Seniors Project.
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Dept, $40,000, for educational and technical program for community needs regarding the reduction of toxic and hazardous waste generated by consumers and businesses. Includes partnering with the Lincoln Area Agency on Aging on pilot paint and retail outlet recycling projects.
  • Mid-Plains Community College (North Platte), $7,774, for recycling collection containers and a campaign to increase recycling on campus.
  • Nebraska Public Power District (Columbus), $200,000, for the second year of a three-year grant project, used for replacing and recycling old refrigerators.
  • Omaha Public Power District, $3,963 , for eight aerosol can puncturing units,
  • Red Willow County, $85,000, for household hazardous waste collections in approximately 40 communities plus maintaining the household hazardous waste facility in McCook. The household hazardous waste collections include the collections at Keep North Platte/Lincoln Co. Beautiful and LASWA.
  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln, $199,919, this is a two-year grant, in collaboration with WasteCap of NE. and the University of NE and the Partners in Pollution Prevention (P3) Program. The project uses student employees to provide on-site case studies, source reduction research and assistance to Nebraska businesses.
  • Village of Wallace, $20,693, for a recycling roll-off container and vertical baler to begin a recycling program within the community.