Several area businesses utilize the recycle facilities in Burwell. One such business is Thoene Farm Service Inc., a business that has been providing agricultural equipment and services since 1983. Staff at Thoene’s provide customers within 150 miles with hay equipment, irrigation power units, feed wagons and tractors along with replacement parts and services. Major equipment lines that Thoene’s carry are McCormick and Vermeer and Cummins and Isuzu Power Units but they do carry parts from many other brands! Thoene Farm Service staff are happy to help any farm/ranch customer find and/or repair any piece of equipment they have. They pride themselves on excellent customer service and work very hard on making sure the customer has everything that they need to have their operation function easily!!
Many of the supplies that are delivered to Thoene Farm Service arrive in cardboard boxes surrounded in packing paper. When cardboard recycling started being offered, via semi-trailer, at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Interpretive Center during Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in 2014, Thoene’s decided this would be a perfect avenue to dispose of the clean cardboard and packing paper properly. Since July of 2014, the staff at Thoene Farm Service has taken collected cardboard to the recycle trailer roughly twice a month. Sometimes the length of time varies due to parts delivery orders. Sue Thoene, was and is integral in the recycling strategies at Thoene Farm Service as she is very passionate about the environment and reducing unnecessary items from entering the landfills. As a result of adding recycling cardboard to their protocol at Thoene Farm Service it has drastically reduced the amount of products that are placed in their dumpster. The dumpster is now no longer overflowing on garbage collection day, which is once a week, and rather has room to spare.
Within the last couple of years Thoene Farm Service has implemented an additional recycling strategy by placing a recycled paper bin next to the copy machine for scrap paper. Wrapping paper from reams of paper along with any miscopies and other scrap paper are placed in the special bin and then delivered to the recycle trailers at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Interpretive Center when full. Sue says, “We are probably not doing everything (recycling) that we can yet but we are working on it.”
A message Sue would like to share with other businesses and individuals in the area is that “We need to do everything we can for our environment and recycle properly.” In addition she encourages those who utilize the trailers to read the rules and regulation and follow them properly!! She stated, “If you do not take your cardboard in and stack it the next person will not do it either and the semi-trailer turns into a mess.” Sue and an employee, John O’Brien, sometimes straighten up the semi-trailer out of the goodness of their hearts but many times it is too big of an on-taking due to how cardboard is placed. Sue also mentioned another volunteer, Dan Hruza, has spent hours volunteering to keep the cardboard straightened but too has retired from volunteering at that level. “Break down the boxes, flatten them and stack them like you would do at home when you put them in the semi-trailer. Don’t leave a mess. Be a part of the solution.” states Sue.
Sue would like to thank the staff at Keep Loup Basin Beautiful for everything that they do to make and keep recycling available here. Sue thanks Janet Sanders for taking on the management, organization and scheduling of the trailers and noted that doing that is a huge undertaking as Sue has experience in its organization and scheduling in previous years.
Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) is grant-funded through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and Keep America Beautiful; and is a project of the Loup Basin RC&D Council that promotes litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, and beautification. KLBB serves thirteen counties in central and north-central Nebraska. For more information about KLBB’s education programs, email KLBB at [email protected], visit www.keeploupbasinbeautiful.org, or like them on Facebook. Contact the Loup Basin RC&D office (308)-346-3393 or stop by the office at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Interpretive Center, 330 South Highway 11 Burwell, Nebraska.