We can all make decisions every day to lessen our impact on our natural resources. A Zero waste strategy depends on individuals who share a vision of more efficient use of resources and their recapture. The Zero Waste hierarchy has much more than the 3 R’s of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, including refuse, return, redesign, and regulate.
Read the tabs below to see how to reduce your impact
Packaging materials like plastics and boxes can make up to 30% of what ends up in the landfill. A lot can be recycled, but there are still many kinds of packaging that do not have a recycling market. Reducing always comes before recycling!
Reduce the amount of packaging you buy.
Where can I recycle in Nebraska?
WasteCap Nebraska has the most comprehensive recycling guide in the state!
Check DEQ’s Recycling Directory for facilities by material type, County, City or organization name
Recycling Drop-off Locations in Lincoln Map
List of Private Curbside Recyclers in Lincoln
Curbside recycling bins are available for residential areas in Omaha city limits for free! Get yours here.
Recycling Drop-off locations in Omaha
Recycling Materials Recovery Facility FirstStar Recycling
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility in Omaha Under the Sink for chemicals, paints, light bulbs, etc.
Lincoln: Secure Recyclers, 123 System Solutions
Nebraska City: NebWorks, Inc.
Best Buy, Staples, and cell phone service providers. Check Call2Recycle for batteries and cellphone recyclers near you.
Planning a building or deconstruction project? See our C&D page
Food scraps can account for up to 25% of your home’s waste. In the landfill, organic materials feed methane-producing bacteria that contribute to 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US.
Whether you live in the country or in a small apartment, there are ways to remove food waste from your trash. Composting creates a nutritious soil amendment that can be used in lawns and gardens. Compost is a mixture of partially decomposed plant material. Composting garden and food wastes is a simple, inexpensive and ecologically sound way to restore fertility to your soil. It can be used in the garden to improve the soil, and feed plants. Adding compost to heavy clay soil with lighten, loosen and improve drainage, while adding it to sandy soil will increase water and nutrient holding capacity.
Composting Service Providers:
Start your own HOME composting project
Backyard Composting Methods:
You can compost in your yard by incorporating food waste into your soil, making a heap, making your own container or purchasing a composting bin. Get the details from UNL Extension and Missouri Extension offices.
Apartment living: Vermicomposting
You can compost in small indoor areas using worms! Vermicomposting is the process of using worms and micro-organisms to turn kitchen waste into a black, earthy-smelling, nutrient-rich humus. Learn How from the UNL Extension office.
Nearly 1 billion people around the world go hungry, and 1 in 6 Americans is food insecure, while in the US we throw away about 40% of all food that’s produced. The average American family of 4 loses somewhere between $1,300 and $2,300 annually in wasted food. Furthermore, food waste is particularly problematic in landfills because it is fuel for bacteria that create methane. Reducing organics in the landfill would have the greatest impact on reducing methane production.
Reducing food waste at home:
3. Get creative with your leftovers.
4. Understand food dates. Often ‘use by’ and ‘sell by’ dates do not accurately indicate food safety. Besides those on infant formula and some baby food, these dates are not federally regulated, so it is important to understand how to best store our food. Curious about how long food really lasts? Check out eatbydate.com for an informative perspective on food shelf life, safety, recipes, and more!
5. Nourish your community. Moving? Going on vacation? Certain you won’t eat that tomato soup in your cupboard? Share food with neighbors or donate to your local food bank.
7. Track your trash. Choose two weeks to list everything you throw out. At the end of those weeks, evaluate the list and learn to purchase and store better next time.
This info and more at foodshift.net
The vast majority of unwanted medicines in Nebraska are disposed of improperly. This poses risks of accidental poisoning, prescription drug
abuse, and water contamination.
YOU SHOULD NEVER FLUSH LEFTOVER
MEDICINE DOWN THE TOILET.
Instead, check with your local pharmacist to
see which disposal options are available to you.
Check Nebraska MEDS Coalition for more information.