50% Recycling Target for Indiana but Deadline Unclear

Legislators in Indiana have set the state a target of reaching a 50% recycling rate and are to implement new recycling data reporting requirements.

Recycling Biological Treatment Markets & Policy

Legislators in Indiana have set the state a target of reaching a 50% recycling rate and are to implement new recycling data reporting requirements.

The State Senate has passed House Bill (HB) 1183 by a vote of 47-1.

The Bill was sponsored by Senator Mark Stoops, and sets a statewide goal for recycling municipal waste and require Indiana recycling organisations to post periodic reports on their recycling efforts.

HB 1183 defines municipal waste as any garbage, refuse, industrial restroom waste, office waste or another similar material.

According to Senator Stoops the goal is ambitious, but attainable.

“By working with recyclers in the state to analyse the situation, we can focus state policy and resources to create a more effective recycling program,” he said.

While the Bill originally called for the 50% target to be reached by 2019, according to a report by the Journal Gazette, the bill’s author, State Representative David Wolkins, removed thedeadline because it’s unclear what percentage of Indiana’s municipal waste is currently recycled.

Kara Brooks, a spokesperson of Governor Mike Pence is quoted in the report as having said: “They were afraid to put in an actual date until we find out exactly how bad we are,” he said Wednesday. “If we’re down in the 10 to 15 percent range, it might take us a long time to get there.”

Reports from businesses

The measure will also require all Indiana recycling organisations and businesses to submit an annual recycling activity report to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management beginning in 2015.

Those reports would be shared with the public through the department’s website. The Department of Environmental Management would also be required to submit to the Environmental Quality Service Council an annual report summarizing the information contained in the recycling reports.

Stoops said that working with recycling facilities to increase accountability and gain a better understanding of the status of their efforts could help Indiana become more efficient.

“Improving our recycling efforts in Indiana will create jobs, combat environmental degradation and help us capitalise on resources that are available in our own backyard,” argued the Senator.

The measure was approved by a vote of 47-1 and will be sent to the original author of the bill in the House of Representatives to consider changes made in the Senate.  

arey Hamilton, executive director, Indiana Recycling Coalition.  ”We are thankful to Governor Pence, Representative Wolkins and Senator Charbonneau for their leadership with this groundbreaking recycling legislation, and we look forward to a robust policy discussion – a debate of how best to achieve this new 50% recycling goal – in the months leading up to the 2015 session,” continued Hamilton.

Welcome reception

Carey Hamilton, executive director of not-for-profit group, the Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) commented: ”We look forward to a robust policy discussion – a debate of how best to achieve this new 50% recycling goal – in the months leading up to the 2015 session.”

According to Hamilton, the IRC’s 2013 study, The Untapped Jobs Potential of Indiana’s Recycling Industry, brought the economic message to the fore. 

The study concluded that recycling 25% of waste from Indiana’s residents would result in the creation of 10,000 new in-state jobs.


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