Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

March 19, 2014

THEIR VIEW: Recycling goals lead to progress

Recycling legislation termed “landmark” by the Indiana Recycling Coalition is a highlight of the Indiana General Assembly session that just concluded.

We join the IRC with high praise for Indiana’s new 50 percent recycling goal and recycling data reporting requirements.

The IRC was formed in 1989 to support waste reduction, reuse, composting and recycling in Indiana. The IRC’s members include state and local governments, business, industry, not-for-profits and individuals.

An IRC press release said that the landmark legislation provides the groundwork for significant job creation, energy conservation and natural resource protection.

Major manufacturers that use recycled material as feedstock were strong supporters of House Bill 1183.

Recycling’s environmental and economic benefits are well documented. Studies show that recycling 25 percent of what Hoosiers dispose of today would result in the creation of 10,000 new in-state jobs.

Cary Hamilton, executive director of the IRC, said the IRC looks forward to discussion about how to achieve the new 50 percent recycling goal in the months leading up to the 2015 session.

But wait a minute! Many people remember that in 1990 the Indiana Legislature passed environmental law that instituted mandatory solid waste planning; established solid waste management districts; provided governmental tools to finance solid waste planning, management and recycling activities; promoted recycled product use, discouraged waste production; and regulated solid waste transportation.

The 1990 legislation called for reducing the amount of solid waste incinerated and disposed of in Indiana by 50 percent before Jan. 1, 2001.

Is our legislature recycling the recycling goal? No, they are refining it. Hamilton explained that the 1990 “50 percent” goal involved waste diversion.

“The IRC recognizes HB 1183 as a crucial first step towards building Indiana’s recycling industry, turning Indiana’s waste into valuable resources to be mined, processed and marketed to manufacturers in Indiana and beyond, and to creating economic growth in Indiana,” Hamilton said.

Creating goals that later fall by the wayside is often a substitute for real progress.

But in this case we believe that this recycling of goals will lead to both economic growth and a healthier environment.

— KPC News

THE ISSUE Recycling goals set at 50 percent by Indiana General Assembly. THEIR VIEW Goals could lead to economic growth and healthier environment.

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