LINCOLN, Neb. — A new Lincoln ordinance taking effect in April bans corrugated cardboard from the city’s landfill.

The city also will ban yard waste, tires and vehicle batteries and appliances from the landfill during the spring and summer. The ban was passed last year by the Lincoln City Council, The Lincoln Journal Star reported.

The landfill ban will require residents and businesses to recycle corrugated cardboard, either by using one of the city’s garbage haulers or a recycling company, or by taking the cardboard to one of 28 free public recycling sites. It also requires garbage collectors to offer curbside recycling services.

Mayor Chris Beutler said about 39 million pounds of cardboard is dumped in the landfill each year. He said the ordinance is expected to raise the city’s recycling rate from 21 to 31 percent.

Beutler said the city isn’t going to fine offenders right away. But he said garbage collectors may charge additional fees for receiving recyclable cardboard.

Lincoln is offering incentives for businesses as the ban approaches that include a waste reduction and recycling assistance program that offers up to $750 in rebates for new or expanded commercial recycling or composting programs.

Scott Niederhaus, whose company represents Lincoln’s Solid Waste and Recycling Association, said he suggests residents and businesses contact their provider to set up a service, based on specific needs.

“Remember, change is never easy but once it becomes a habit it is no longer a burden,” Niederhaus said.

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star,