With a grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, NRC’s newest project will begin this
summer to create a Hub and Spoke pilot program for recycling in northeast Nebraska. The Hub and Spoke model works by creating regional recycling processing centers within larger communities that serve as the “hub,” where material is sorted, baled, and sold to markets. Smaller communities with collection
points are the “spokes” and deliver their recyclables to hubs for processing. The partnerships create a more durable, economical, and efficient materials handling system by consolidating larger volumes of recyclables and moving them more efficiently to markets.
With multi-community cooperation, the efficiency of Hub and Spoke creates potential for increased revenues and avoided costs, a wider range of materials that can be collected, and a more economically viable transportation system. It can provide access to recycling where there is none available, and increase participation where it already exists.
Hub and Spoke recycling addresses the challenges to having economically viable programs and access to recycling in even the most rural communities. It’s NRC’s aim to create a successful pilot program that can be replicated in regions throughout Nebraska.