Waste to Energy Lincoln Focuses on Local Food Waste Solutions

Uribe Refuse Services recognized early on the need for local food waste solutions and formed Waste to Energy Lincoln known as WTEL. WTEL’s goal is to significantly improve the environmental, energy, and economic performance of existing waste management practices by focusing on the recovery of energy and nutrients found in organic waste.

In 2015, WTEL began its organics recovery program by hauling food waste for a few of Lincoln public schools. Since then, the hauling route for organics has grown to include 44 schools and many commercial customers. This year, a city-wide residential composting program was launched to make composting easy and affordable for Lincoln residents as well. Currently, the organic material is hauled to Prairieland Gold, a commercial composting operation in Firth, NE.

Understanding that every business is unique, WTEL also provides customizable options for commercial customers’ food waste needs. The goal is to help businesses implement a successful program that creates clean, compostable material. Help is offered throughout the whole process, including developing signage, training, and sourcing the right materials if needed.

The residential compost program is available to all Lincoln residents. When you sign up, you receive a 35-gallon locking lid outdoor tote and a 5-gallon kitchen countertop bin. The service can be stand-alone or bundled with garbage and recycling service.

Waste to Energy Lincoln and Uribe Refuse Services have big goals. Now they are looking beyond just collection and hauling services to food waste processing, aiming to build Nebraska’s first stand-alone food waste anaerobic digester. This process will turn local food waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment AND a renewable natural gas used to fuel vehicles. Stay tuned for what comes next!