Keep Cass County Beautiful Receives USDA Grant
The USDA Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program recently provided 11 grants to Nebraska communities totaling more than $905,109. Keep Cass County Beautiful (KCCB) was awarded one of the USDA Rural Business Development Grants in the amount of $64,727. The grant funds will allow KCCB in partnership with the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) to conduct “Green Main Street” workforce training and to identify operational savings for businesses in Cass County. The outcomes include improved local economy created through business community branding. Small businesses will receive direct benefit from job retention, operational savings, and community improvement realized by a better-trained workforce.
The “Green Business” Program will support the development of small and emerging private businesses defined by USDA as any private business which employs 50 or fewer employees and has less than $1 million in projected gross revenues. KCCB and project partners will be recruiting Cass County businesses who wish to participate in the “Green Main Street” training program. Training will be held in the county and lead to action goals for each business attending. Action items will have estimates of probable savings and time of implementation. The directbenefit to the business will be specific curriculum development training that will reduce operational costs and improve employee skills. Contact KCCB at KeepCassCountyBeautiful@Yahoo.com for more information about joining the training. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
New Youth Advisory Council
These students from Louisville Public School are members of the newly formed KCCB Youth Advisory Council, a new initiative of Keep America Beautiful to further engage, educate and inspire youth as the next generation of environmental and community stewards.
The group has conducted their first litter survey observation and litter cleanup of the school grounds as part of the first instructional module called Litter Free Schools. The program provides the opportunity to measure changes in the amount of litter on the school campus after implementation of KAB interventions, awareness campaigns and another litter cleanup. Other modules of the youth driven program include Trashless Tree Trails and Waste Audit.
Youth Advisory Council members are (left to right) Avery Heard, Annika Covington, Bella Sayre, Julian Covington, Danni Barkhurst, Skyler Lipsys and Eric Heard. Not shown is member Lily Korytowski.
Keep Cass County Beautiful continues to promote the 2016 Great American Cleanup. There's still time to have a litter cleanup in your neighborhood. KCCB will provide trash bags, gloves, and loan safety vests and pickup tools. .
This year’s Great American Cleanup theme is “Clean Your Block Party”. The theme encourages all volunteers and participants to take what they learn from a Great American Cleanup event and bring it home to organize an event on their own block. Keep America Beautiful is encouraging participants to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments with neighbors, family and friends. The objective of “Clean Your Block Party” is to spread the word on beautifying communities, educate and encourage volunteers to build a sense of community pride and stewardship and offer experiences that help change behaviors with the goal of making a lasting, positive initiative on communities nationwide, block by block.
Jennifer M. Jehn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Keep America Beautiful states, “It is humbling to see the millions of volunteers that turn out each year to our affiliate’s Great American Cleanup events. We look forward to a very rewarding 2016 with increased participant engagement, more impactful projects and to taking measurable steps to ensuring each community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live.”
Keep Cass County Beautiful (KCCB) will partner with local organizations to plan volunteer events and education programs that help to renew parks and recreation areas, remove litter and debris, reduce waste and improve recycling, plus plant trees and flowers. KCCB will provide trash bags, disposable gloves and loan banners, safety vests, gloves and pickup tools to Cass County communities and organizations that wish to participate in a Great American Cleanup.
In 2015, KCCB provided supplies for 11 Great American Cleanups in the county with the help of 201 volunteers who spent a total of 346 hours planting flowers, trees and collecting over 9,000 pounds of litter. For more information about volunteering, planning or reserving supplies for a Great American Cleanup event, contact the director at KeepCassCountyBeautiful@Yahoo.com.
Best Buy’s recycling program has changed. Here’s how and why.
February 1, 2016, Best Buy introduced changes in their in-store recycling program that allow them to continue to provide this service to customers.
Best Buy is now charging customers $25 for each TV and computer monitor they recycle at their stores. And in two states – Illinois and Pennsylvania – they are no longer recycling these particular products because of laws that prevent them from collecting fees to help run their program. All other products – such as batteries, ink cartridges, computers, printers and hundreds of other items – continue to be recycled for free at all of our stores.
According to Laura Bishop, Best Buy’s Vice President of Public Affairs & Sustainability,"The new fees will help cover the increasing cost of managing TV and monitor disposal through our network of stores, distribution centers and recycling partners. E-waste volume is rising, commodity prices are falling and global outlets for recycled glass, a key component of TVs and monitors, have dramatically declined. More and more cities and counties have cut their recycling programs for budget reasons, limiting consumer options even further."
For more information about the items Best Buy accepts for recycling, visitBestBuy.com/Recycle.
Consider becoming a member of Keep Cass County Beautiful
KCCB is partially funded by a litter grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, fund raising projects, and memberships from businesses and individuals in the community. Members and volunteers are vital to help us promote litter prevention, beautification, waste reduction, and recycling. Your support will help us keep Cass County a clean, green and beautiful place to live.
Click on the membership link (upper right of screen) for more information.
New Executive Director
Linda Behrns, Louisville, has been selected as the new executive director of Keep Cass County Beautiful effective January 1, 2014. She has been a public school educator for 24 years and recently retired from Louisville Public Schools where she was the HAL (High Ability Learning) coordinator and seventh grade Language Arts teacher for the past fifteen years. Her teaching experiences span from pre-school through high school. Under her leadership, KCCB will continue the mission of Keep America Beautiful by engaging individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environment.