Columbus celebrates America Recycles Day

November 17, 2018 GMT

It’s not easy ripping apart 200-plus-year law books, but luckily for Vanessa Oceguera, she had some help.

A group of local high school students visited the office of Keep Columbus Beautiful on Thursday to help with their recycling efforts. The nonprofit aims to educate the community on litter reduction and promote recycling, the same goal as America Recycles Day, which was held Friday.

“The goal is to basically to have people to pledge to recycle more, to recycle better whether that’s in the workplace, at home, in the community, that’s ultimately the goal,” KCB Executive Director Oceguera said about America Recycles Day.


In honor of Friday’s special day, Oceguera shared with The Columbus Telegram several ways people in the area can recycle and reduce waste. Despite the City of Columbus discontinuing residential recycling services in 2017, Keep Columbus Beautiful’s website lists several organizations in the area that provide various recycling services.

“We make a lot of trash and it has to go somewhere, and if we’re not recycling it, it’s just accumulating somewhere,” Oceguera said. “Eventually the landfills will run out of space and there will be nowhere for it to go.”

Alter Metal Recycling at 3440 15th St E. accepts all types of metal products, such as aluminum cans, steel cans, copper, nickel, lead, brass, auto batteries and large household appliances. Oceguera said when it comes to recycling metal cans to make sure they’re clean and not wrapped in any plastic bags.

“Make sure it’s clean, kind of stick to your simple stuff. People kind of get too recycle happy and it doesn’t work very well,” Oceguera said.

The Columbus Transfer Station, 250 S. 14th Ave., provides a free drop-off service for yard waste and uncontaminated used oil. Grass clippings, leaves, tree limbs, wood waste and other brush are ground up into mulch, which is provided to the public for free.

Keep Columbus Beautiful, 3020 18th Street, Suite 16, provides recycling for compact fluorescent bulbs, mercury and cell phones. On Thursday, Madeline Hudnall was one of the several high school students helping Oceguera with the book recycling at the office.

“I think recycling is important because instead of it just going to a giant pile in town, creating a huge mess, you can reuse it and it can turn into something better,” Hudnall said.

Today, Central Community College-Columbus is hosting several booths outside the Raider Field House, 4500 63rd St., in honor of America Recycles Day. At noon, people from the school’s environmental sustainability office, Nebraska Recycling Association and the Nebraska Conservation Education Fund will be teaching about zero-waste efforts and will be passing out free reusable bags.

For a full list of recycling opportunities in Columbus, visit www.kcbne.com.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.