Pawnee City, Nebraska, Apr 18, 2011 -- The City of Pawnee City was recognized today, in honor of Earth Day, for securing the funding needed to purchase a 10-bin recycling trailer. USDA Rural Development Community Programs Director Denise Meeks and staff presented a plaque to the City, commemorating the USDA support of the project.
“This is like a dream come true. The recycling trailer is something we have been working on for at least two years. Some of the youth who first started this in motion have graduated, but others have continued to pursue this green dream. We are excited that this joint effort between our city and school and Rural Development has become a reality. Thank you so much,” said Mayor Duane Westing, City of Pawnee City.
“Rural Development is pleased to assist Pawnee City in the purchase of their recycling trailer,” said Meeks. “Recycling is an important component in preserving the Earth. I commend the Pawnee City Student Council leaders and the staff of Pawnee City who made this project happen.”
Today, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced the support for projects to improve the environment in rural communities. This announcement kicks off a week of events highlighting the annual Earth Day observation on April 22.
USDA Rural Development provided $8,000 leveraged with $6,555 from the City for the trailer. The $14,555 recycling trailer establishes a stable, sustainable recycling connection for all citizens of Pawnee City. A City staff member shuttles the recycling trailer to a regional recycling center at least twice a month. The Pawnee City Student Council leaders volunteered to assist in the oversight and maintenance of the trailer and were present at the event to give a demonstration.
A poster contest was held among grades first through sixth with grand prize winners being from the sixth grade and are Olivia Farwell, Hannah Meyer, Sabre Menninga, and Lydia Gyhra. Each winner was presented with a $25 pool punch card. Grades first through fifth were each recognized with a gift certificate from Subway for their participation in the poster contest.
Previously, the citizens and business owners were only able to recycle aluminum, other metals and waste oil so the need for a recycling trailer was apparent. Today they recycle #1 and #2 plastic, newspapers, chipboard, cardboard, metal cans, paper, magazines, and the like.
USDA Rural Development has provided funding previously to Pawnee City through $332,000 to the Pawnee City Public Library Foundation to assist in the purchase of land on which to build a new public library and the associated construction costs. Funds also include costs for plans and design, construction engineering, and legal fees.
The City of Pawnee City received $3.6 million to assist in the replacement of its wastewater treatment system and $2.9 million for a water improvement project.
For more information contact Sara Seidel at (402) 423-9683 ext. 120.