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Recycling in Omaha made easy with drop-off sites

In 2022, Omaha's recycling program recycled 22,701 tons
Posted at 7:57 PM, Nov 08, 2023
  • Mulhalls recycling drop-off site is a popular location locals like Rob Williams visit monthly
  • Matt O'Connell, the recycling coordinator for the city of Omaha, discusses the purpose of having these sites

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Recycling is something that helps us keep items out of the landfill by turning stuff like this into new material. I'm Jill Lamkins by Mulhalls, in your northwest Omaha neighborhood. I'm told this is one of the more popular drop-off sites, but that there are other places you can go to let stuff like this go.

"Yeah, life has changed, you know, people buy stuff online a lot more than they used to and we just have, you know, we buy stuff online too but my daughter, a lot more."

Rob Williams visits this recycling site a couple of times a month.

"I've got a big plastic container, and we just throw stuff in there and when it gets full, I bring it down here."

In 2022, Omaha recycled just under 23,000 tons — both curbside and at the five full-service drop-off sites and two glass-only sites.

But why does the city provide the drop-off sites?

"It's really a great way for people that may not have access to curbside recycling… whether they live in an apartment complex or multi-unit or sometimes people just don't have enough capacity…"

When you go to recycle, make sure to throw your items into the right spot. The purple containers are for glass. The green containers are for all other recyclables. Matt says it's super important you separate these items, otherwise...

"What ends up happening is when the glass is compacted, it shatters and causes contamination in the fiber and cardboard."

And Rob knows this, with one home container just for glass.

"It takes longer to fill the glass thing, you know, my daughter drinks wine but not that much so."

At times, the drop-off sites deal with illegal dumping where people leave large items like furniture on the ground.

"Really what that does is it makes very expensive garbage, we end up having to pay for that twice."

Because of this, the program now has a solar-powered camera unit to monitor dumping. And if there's one thing to make sure you don't accidentally recycle...

“Please make sure you don't put any plastic bags in your recycling carts at home or the drop-off sites."

If you aren't sure of what you can and can't recycle, you can visit Wasteline.org where the city of Omaha has worked with Keep Omaha Beautiful on a recycling guide. In your Northwest Omaha neighborhood, I'm Jill Lamkins for 3 News Now.