Group discusses a zero waste goal for Imperial
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
The city of Imperial has a 30 percent recycling rate at the moment. However, it may be time to take that to the next level.
Chris Funk of WasteCap Nebraska met with eight people in Imperial Monday to discuss a “zero waste” strategy.
Not only was the meeting held to discuss promoting the community’s recycling program, but to discuss “reducing, reusing and recycling” to promote a green and profitable city.
Funk said, “You are at a higher level of recycling than the rest of the state.” She encouraged the group to begin the process to strive for WasteCap’s vision.
To “reduce,” Imperial needs to prevent waste before it starts by discussing how the government spends its dollars.
To “reduce” or repair, once the products are circulating, the city needs to keep them going, kind of like a thrift store mentality.
“Recycling” and composting means breaking a product down and using it in a different form.
The group present at Monday’s meeting focused mainly on recycling. City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland told Funk Nebraska doesn’t have a good network of markets for recycled products.
Funk noted that a small company near Hazard makes fence posts out of recycled plastic, but doesn’t have a good source of recycled material.
Leyland said Imperial puts its plastics in the landfill because she can’t find a market for plastic.
The group decided that at present it has two goals: to find markets for recyclables, and to involve the business community and individuals in recycling and how it is to their financial interest to do so.
In the near future businesses will be contacted to discuss recycling efforts, a possible home pickup for recycled products will be researched, a possible survey of town residents will be discussed and the school will be approached concerning a possible composting of discarded food as a project.
The city of Imperial has received a grant from WasteCap to see how the community can increase its recycling efforts and work toward a zero waste status.