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Correctional facility stops using Styrofoam cups to save money, reduce waste

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Posted at 2:59 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 16:00:00-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — A Lincoln correctional facility has made a small mealtime switch, which is cost-saving and cutting down on waste.

The Diagnostic and Evaluation Center did away with Styrofoam cups and replaced them with plastic tumblers, according to a Nebraska Department of Corrections news release.

Officials say the move saves $7,000 a year and reduces waste output by 50 percent.

“Our other facilities already use plastic cups at mealtime. But due to lack of storage space, that was not practical at DEC,” DEC Assistant Warden James Jansen said. “The tumblers are kept in each individual’s cell, thereby, reducing the need to store them someplace else.”

Each individual is responsible for cleaning their own tumbler. The first one is free. The owner is responsible for the cost to replace lost or damaged ones.

“Giving each person a tumbler allows them to be a part of the solution. They get one tumbler while at DEC and can take it to their next facility to use as well. It may not seem like much, but when you consider how many disposable cups a person would use at each meal over the course of a year, the impact is significant," Jansen said.