Recycling

NPA members recycle most of their power plant fly ash, which is widely used in gypsum wallboard

NPA member utilities reduce, reuse and recycle materials as part of their commitment to environmental stewardship. It’s a commitment they have held for many years. Not only do the actions of employees keep waste out of landfills, in some cases they generate revenue for utilities, helping keep your electric rates low.

  • In 2010, Omaha Public Power District recycled at least 181 tons of office paper, a 17% increase over its 2009 efforts
  • Last year, Nebraska Public Power District recycled 120 tons of office paper
  • NPA member utilities recycled more than 300,000 tons of fly ash and bottom ash from their power plants in 2010, enough to fill thousands of 18-wheel semi-trailer trucks. This material was reused in gypsum wallboard for residential and commercial construction, Portland cement and as a soil stabilizer.

In addition, Nebraska’s utilities last year recycled thousands of tons of steel, aluminum, copper and brass, which preserved scarce landfill space. Over 100,000 gallons of used oil were recycled or reused in 2010.

Dawson Public Power District is one of several NPA member utilities that provide free wood chips to customers when their tree-trimming crews are in the neighborhood.

Nebraska electric utilities have recycled thousands of old, inefficient refrigerators in recent years -- and most NPA members will pick your old fridge for free!

Several NPA members offer their customers paperless billing options, and tens of thousands of customers have signed up for this service, which saves trees, reduces fuel use and lowers costs – all of which help hold down your electric bill. For customers who still receive paper bills, their statements are printed on paper produced through certified sustainable forestry practices.

Nebraska’s locally owned utilities include customers in their recycling programs: NPA members have recycled more than 5,000 old refrigerators from customers since 2008. Nearly 95% of each refrigerator is recycled – including the metals, plastic, oils, and foam insulation. This popular program picks up old refrigerators at no cost, and gives customers a $35 check for each refrigerator picked up. Customers also benefit because a second refrigerator is rarely used effectively, and can consume $100 per year in electricity.

The refrigerator recycling program is one example that shows how Nebraska’s locally owned utilities have embraced environmental protection and sustainable business practices. Most NPA members have employee-led “Green Teams” that work to ensure that materials are maximally reduced, reused and recycled.