The subject of a popular Fannie Flagg book, A Redbird Christmas, the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinals) may be found year-round throughout Wachiska’s region. The male is easily identified with its brilliant feathers contrasting with a black face and red bill. The female is brownish red with a red-orange bill.
To learn more -
To find Nebraska birding trails -http://nebraskabirdingtrails.com/
Finding Solutions for Plastic Pollution
by Danielle Easdale, Firstar Fiber
Wachiska Program —
Thursday, January 12, 2023 7:00 p.m.
Unitarian Church, 6300 A Street, and also via YouTube
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/ygqXI7_EI5Y
We’ve all seen the videos of wildlife struggling in plastic litter and plastic films caught in the treetops. Most of the time, these are plastics that had no end-of-life solution and were destined for the landfill—or worse—the environment. This is something that Firstar Fiber wanted to change.
Firstar Fiber is best known as Nebraska’s largest mechanical recovery facility (MRF) processing close to 100,000 tons annually of recyclable materials from communities and businesses across the state of Nebraska and beyond. Firstar knew that people wanted solutions for these hard-to-recycle plastics as they were already receiving tons per day from well-intentioned people who “wish-cycled.”
Wish-cycling is a term used for people who want to do the right thing, are unsure if an item can be recycled, but really don’t want to throw it in the trash, so they put it in the recycling bin in the hope the recycling company will be able to figure out what to do with it; the trouble is, these items often cause contamination, can jam up the mechanical components of the machinery, and are costly to sort and dispose of, making recycling programs more costly.
Firstar wanted to find a solution for these hard-to-recycle plastics and keep them out of the landfill and, most importantly, the environment. Firstar was the first MRF in the country to implement the Hefty® EnergyBag®. This program gives people a way to capture those hard-to-recycle plastics like chip bags and foam to-go containers in bright orange bags that are easy for Firstar to sort from the traditional recyclable plastics; however, capturing these plastics is only part of the story. Firstar knew that to be successful and sustainable, these items needed to be given value and made worthy of recovery from the landfill.
Partnering with the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, Firstar worked to develop an Integrated Plastic Waste Management system. This included infrastructure installation of a plastic preprocessing plant and additional bolt-on plastic manufacturing facility making plastic lumber, alongside the existing MRF. This effectively demonstrates solutions for plastic waste across the value chain by highest and best use in a way that is sustainable and replicable wherever there is a need.
Danielle Easdale is Firstar Fiber’s director of sales and marketing and has two decades of experience working in the waste and recycling industry. In this presentation she will be explaining Firstar’s work on creating solutions for all plastics. She loves nothing more than speaking with members of the public about how to best manage their waste and solve questions about recycling. Join Wachiska on Thursday, January 12, at 7:00 p.m. for this program. We are now meeting in person again at the Unitarian Church, 6300 A Street, in Lincoln. This free public presentation will also be live streamed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/ ygqXl7_EI5Y. Copy this link into your browser before the program begins. No registration will be necessary. Invite family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to join us.
January Calendar of Events
January 2 Education Committee via Zoom, 6:00 p.m.
January 9 Conservation Committee via Zoom, 6:30 p.m.
January 12 "Finding Solutions for Plastic Pollution"
by Danielle Easdale, Firstar Fiber
7:00 p.m. Unitarian Church,
6300 A Street, Lincoln
January 15 Newsletter deadline in Wachiska office,
January 17 Board Meeting via Zoom, 7:00 p.m.
In September 2021, the Wachiska Board adopted the National Audubon’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as the Chapter’s own goals:
The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.
The photos on this website were taken by Wachiska members. Many thanks to Bruce Wendorff,
Linda Brown, Paul Johnsguard, Tim Knott, Stu Luttich, John Carlini and Elizabeth Nelson.