Ruth Johnston, NDEQ Planning & Aid supervisor, says the 37 projects will have a positive impact on the environment.
“We had enough funding this year to fund most of the eligible projects,” Johnston says.
Nebraska State Recycling Association received a $31,500 grant to help small recycling operations that are struggling to survive.
Deb Rost, executive director, says more communities are trying to recycle, but transportation costs are an obstacle.
“Paper, cardboard, cans, plastics, all that, gets shipped out of state, because that’s where the mills are,” Rost tells Nebraska Radio Network. “It would be great if there were more things going on in Nebraska manufacturing that needed those things, so that they could stay here.”
She says more education and awareness efforts are also needed.
“You would think people would just know recycling is a good thing,” Rost says, “but there are huge percentage, I think, of people who just don’t know about it, or don’t care.”
The City of Lincoln is using $225,000 to persuade more people to recycle.
“Programs that can help our businesses and multi-family complexes, and try to get the word out there on what’s available for recycling,” Donna Garden, assistant director of Public Works, tells Nebraska Radio Network, “I think there may be a lot of people who also don’t understand that we have 28 recycling sites that are free for them.”
The Department of Environmental Quality awards the recycling and waste reduction grants each spring.
A complete list of the 2016 grant winners is HERE.