MADISON, Neb. -- "We just wanted to provide a center where people could come and recycle everything all at one time," said Janelle Parks, the project manager.

Madison is making use of its new recycling center, which opened on March 9, 2022. 

That same year, the center recycled over 30,000 tons of material.

Parks said as the year went on, the members of the community contributed more and more.

"Recycling is very important," she said. "Since we are a small rural community, there's not a lot of resources available for us, so just to be one of the first smaller communities to provide that service is something we're really proud of."

Around 10,150 lbs. of plastics and cans as well as 20,000 lbs. of cardboard have gone through the recycling center.

The center was made possible through grants from different Nebraska environmental agencies totaling $59,000.

Parks said that residents from other northeast Nebraska towns such as Newman Grove and Humphrey use the recycling center on a weekly basis.

Madison is now focusing on teaching kids in the communities about recycling to influence the next generation.

"I know a lot of kids think it's fun to recycle. St. Leonard's really helped us with some in-kind work," Parks said. "It's important to get more parts of the community involved in recycling."

Parks said the city added a 24/7 surveillance team to the center and will be adding lights in the coming months.

So far in 2023, 1,087 pounds of recyclables have been collected in Madison.

The recycling center is located at 304 W First Street.