The Indiana General Assembly has taken a baby step in the right direction to increase recycling in the state.
House Bill 1183, authored by Rep. David Wolkins of Winona Lake, was recently approved and Gov. Mike Pence is expected to sign the legislation. HB 1183 sets a goal for the state to recycle 50 percent of reusable materials; establishes a reporting system for recycling companies so the volume of materials recycled can be tracked; and calls for the General Assembly to create a study committee to make recommendations to the 2015 General Assembly on ways to increase recycling.
HB 1183 IS NOT the strongest legislation ever passed — there’s very little mandated activity in the bill to boost recycling — but it is movement in the right direction.
The lack of “must do” language in the bill is most likely due to the fact nobody in Indiana has a firm grasp of just what is being recycled by whom and in what quantity. The new reporting system will go a long way in establishing a foundation for future legislation to increase recycling.
In a September 2013 Goshen News article about the effort to boost recycling in the state, we reported 275.38 tons of plastic and 48.61 tons of aluminum cans were recycled in Elkhart County in 2012. While those numbers sound large, we would like to know what percentage do they represent for all the plastics and aluminum cans sold in the county. Such numbers need to be gathered by the state to quantify just how much recycling of reusable materials is occurring. But, again, HB 1183 is taking the state in the right direction.
THE SELLING POINT for HB 1183 in the General Assembly was that it’s actually a jobs-creation bill. And it is. Recycling creates jobs. Here in Goshen we have a metal recycling company on Logan Street. Such companies are very valuable to the local and national economies in that they collect reusable natural resources, mostly ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and move them to other companies that reprocess the metals for industrial products. These companies also create jobs.