Waste Management proposes changes to Omaha’s trash and recycling collection

OMAHA, Neb. —Waste Management has submitted proposals to overhaul waste collection in Omaha, Mayor Jean Stothert said in a release Monday.

Waste Management’s current contract with the City of Omaha goes through 2020.

Mayor Stothert said she requested proposals to address “frequent complaints about the current level of service and plan for the future.” 

According to the Mayor’s office, Waste Management has submitted two proposals. Both proposals include a shift to covered recycling carts and the elimination of separate yard waste collection.

The City struck a deal with Waste Management in the summer of 2015 to allow temporary co-collection of trash and yard waste. The deal came after complaints about delays in pick-up. The change meant yard waste started to go to the landfill, instead of to a city composting site. Typically, separate collection would have started again in April.

In the statement Monday, Mayor Jean Stothert supported continued co-collection of trash and yard waste, saying “There are many long-term financial and environmental benefits to co-collection of yard waste. Increasing the amount of yard waste will increase power production. I believe this has greater ‘green’ benefits than manufacturing compost.”

The statement said yard waste is currently going to the Pheasant Point Landfill, and OPPD’s Elk City Station, located near that landfill, uses methane gas produced to supply electricity to around 4,000 homes.

Permanent co-collection of trash and yard waste would mean the elimination of composting and the city’s OmaGro program.

Regarding changes to the recycling program, one proposal would also provide covered carts for combined solid waste and yard waste. One covered cart would be provided to each customer, with additional carts available for $5 a month.

The other proposal maintains the current system for trash and yard waste, using cans and bags provided by the city. The carts would only be used for recyclables. Both proposals indicate recyclables would be picked up every other week.


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