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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 2, 1995)
Today - 60% chance of
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COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA SINCE 1901 VOL. 95 NO. 53 -
— . . .November 2, 1995_
UNL recycling coordinator Dale Ekart and UNL garbage collector Bill Allerheinligen look for recyclable material in
dumpsters behind NU Mail Services early Wednesday morning.
Rubbish recyclers dig results
By Paula Lavigne
On a drizzly Wednesday morning, Dale
Ekart digs through trash.
But it isn’t rubbish to him — it’s a job.
i Dressed in patched jeans, a sweat shirt and
gloves, Ekart and Bill Allerheinligcn left their
homes before dawn to investigate dumpsters at
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Ekart oversees the university’s 2-year-old
recycling program. And Allerheinligen, a land
scape services employee, has been picking up
the university’s trash for about 30 years.
The two are trying to find out if the univer
sity is recycling what it should. If they find
rccyclables in the trash, it is not.
The four main products the university re
cycles are: cardboard, mixed office paper,
newspaper and wood pallets. Independent agen
cies recycle aluminum cans on campus.
UNL has one of the 10 most efficient recy
cling programs in the country, Ekart said, and
it is getting better.
Ekart issued a report at last week’s deans
and directors meeting that showed the 1995-96
fiscal year would be the first year the recycling
program would turn a profit.
To do that, Ekart and Allerheinligen have to
do the dirty work.
About twice a year, Ekart, who has a recy
cling business in Beatrice, examines about 300
UNL dumpsters per week — about 60 per day.
Ekart and Allerheinligen circle campus in a
noisy dump truck, stopping at every campus
building from residence halls to Love Library.
The dump truck hoists the dumpster in the
air and with a clattering cacophony, drops it to
The clues appear.
From the dumpster behind Henzlik Hall,
Ekart held up a Dr. Pepper can.
“This shouldn’t have been thrown out,” he
said. “This should have been recycled.”
When repeated violations show up in a
dumpster, Ekart said, he gives a note to a
building supervisor to tell the people who use
the building they need to recycle.
Ekart found two cardboard boxes in a
dumpster behind the Military and Naval Sci
ence building. The boxes still had their mail
ing labels on them, and the recycling sleuths
had their man.
“They get caught,” Allerheinligen said with
He said he worked for six months trying to
find out the names of a couple who were
throwing their personal trash in the university’s
“I knew this guy all the way down to the
salad dressing he ate,” he said. “They had a
baby during this time, too. I could tell by the
4- The couple slipped up when the woman
threw away the bottle from her birth control
■ pills, Allerheinligen said. Her name was on the
Ekart said he and Allerheinligen have found
a bizarre mix of items from animal carcasses in
the residence hall dumpsters to empty beer
cans in administrative building dumpsters.
They’ve found a few dangerous items like
dirty syringes and needles, Ekart said, so they
are careful about how they handle the trash.
He said he’s learned how to handle crushed
glass and safely dig through a dumpster.
“You don’t just stick your hands in it,” he
said. “You tend to look at it more than anything
A literally hands-on approach was the best
way to measure the university’s recycling ef
“If you don’t look in the garbage,” Ekart
said, “you don’t know what there is.”
The dirtiest dumpsters are at the residence
halls, Allerheinligen said, but he said he didn’t
mind the sometimes smelly work.
“There’s this stigma of garbage being
messy,” he said. “The way it’s handled nowa
days, it’s not that big of a deal.
The two routes take about eight hours each
morning. A sense of humor gets them through
the day, Ekart said.
As Allerheinligen dumped a dumpster of
trash into his truck, scattered papers, a Coke
can and a squashed lemon fell to the ground.
“A good operator doesn’t make a mess,”
Ekart said, laughing.
Allerheinligen jokingly whacked him with
“I didn’t make a mess,” he said, laughing, as
the two swept up the debris.
Before Allerheinligen met Ekart, he did not
recycle, but garbage sleuthing changed his
“It’s the thing of the future,” Allerheinligen
Midwest cooperation wins UNL a transportation grant
Big Eight universities may op
pose each other on the playing field,
but cooperation on other surfaces this
year won UNL a big payoff — $1
million, to be exact.
A proposal written by the Univer
- sity of Nebraska-Lincoln and four
other universities won UNL a $1
million surface transportation grant
from the U.S. Department of Trans
portation. It also made UNL the new
home of the Mid-America Transpor
tation Center, which opened in Sep
The center is one of 13 across the
nation that make up the University
Transportation Centers Program, es
tablished by the Department of Trans
portation in 1987. MATC improves
the design and operation of surface
transportation, including highways,
railroads and pipelines, said Patrick
McCoy, professor of civil engineer
Iowa State University was the site
of MATC until 1987, McCoy said.
The Department of Labor allowed
institutions to compete for the center
last year. UNL, Kansas State Univer
sity, the University of Kansas, the
University of Missouri-Columbia and
the University of Missouri-Rollacom
peted together. _ .
The “regional thrust” of ffie~pro
posal was the key factor in moving
the site, McCoy said.
“Iowa pretty much kept every
thing to themselves,” he said.
The grant money, which totaled
$2 million when matched with non
federal funds, and information gained
from the center will be shared be
tween the universities, McCoy said.
UNL will receive half the money
-because it is the lead institution, he
—The value of having the MATC at
UNL is not j ust monetary, said Sarny
Elias, associate dean for engineering
“There’s only 13 centers around
the country and now we have one,”
he said. “We’re recognized as a cen
ter of excellency. That attracts stu
dents, faculty and more money.”
During the first year of the grant,
McCoy said, the money will be used
in three areas: education, research
and shared technology.
More courses will be taught via
See GRANT on 3
By Paula Lavigne
It’s the story of a Nebraska farm boy who
purchases an Apple II computer in college and
becomes a Microsoft executive working for
the richest man in America.
Jeff Raikes wanted to go
«■■■ nPAPiiw back to his farm in Ashland
NU KtutNId after graduation, but in
stead he accepted a job with
a small Seattle computer
company in 1981.
He interviewed with a
man named Bill Gates.
Fourteen years later.
Gates would be the richest
man in America, and
Microsoft would be a
And Raikes, who thought he would be work
ing on agricultural policies for the U.S. De
partment of Agriculture, is now one of
Microsoft’s top engineers.
Raikes, 37, will return to his home state
Friday and give his presentation, “The Virtual
University,” to the NU Board of Regents at 1
p.m. in Vamer Hall.
From the start, he has considered himself a
He is the youngest of five children, he said,
and the son of parents who were “really, really,
really big believers in the importance of an
His brothers and sisters have master’s de
grees from prestigious universities across the
His brother, Ronald Raikes, who lives in
Lincoln, has a doctorate in agricultural eco
nomics from the University of California at
Davis and taught at Iowa State University
before returning to take over the family farm.
Oddly enough, Raikes’ said, his bachelor’s
degree from Stanford University in California
makes him the least educated of his siblings.
But Raikes is the star of his small graduating
class at Ashland High School. Only about 12
students went on to higher education, he said, and
he was the only one who left the Midwest.
His father encouraged him to go out of state,
he said. His father stressed that business was
important to agriculture and suggested he con
sider going to Stanford.
His father, Ralph Raikes, has since passed
away, but his mother, Alice Raikes, still lives
on the Ashland farm.
The couple encouraged their children to go
to college, his mother said, and her husband
even took his daughters to interview at col
leges on the East Coast.
At Stanford, his farm background brought
Raikes together with the head of the graduate
program — a man who used to be a Missouri
Raikes said he was used as a guinea pig for
Stanford’s experimental undergraduate engi
neering economics program.
During his senior year, Raikes made plans
to join his older brother on the farm. His
See RAIKES on 3
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