Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2013


Lincoln Nebraska currently has a recycling diversion rate of only 18.4% lagging far behind the national average of 34% and alarmingly low when compared to San Francisco, California with a rate of 80%. This study was to determine the forces that propelled California and San Francisco to the highest diversions rates in the nation from a policy, waste collection process and management standpoint. Then look at what forces there are in Lincoln, Nebraska and what could be done to improve its diversion successfully. This study was conducted primarily through the literature review process.

The results were that California was not a model of recycling perfection as recent as 20 years ago, what propelled them was diversion goals mandated in their modernizing of waste management policies. While Lincoln and Nebraska set no goals with their waste management changes. Lincoln however is still poised to make rapid gains in diversion; successful yard waste organics diversion shows the public is able to divert waste, while an estimated 24% of households are currently paying for private curbside recycling programs, with many companies showing interest in growing and expanding.