Tell Your Legislators That Recycling Means Business in Wisconsin
Dear Governor Walker and State Legislators,
As a Wisconsin resident, I urge you to reconsider the elimination of Wisconsin’s mandatory recycling law and removal of financial assistance for local governments operating recycling programs, as proposed in the 2011/2013 Budget Bill. Wisconsin’s recycling law has strong support from citizens across this great state; young and old alike know that recycling not only makes good environmental sense, it makes sound economic sense as well.
According to a new informational paper, “Recycling Means Business: The Critical Link between Wisconsin’s Economic Growth and Recycling,” Wisconsin has a successful and well-established multi-million dollar system for collecting and processing recyclables. We all benefit from the jobs created, products made from recyclables, water and energy saved when approximately 400,000 tons per year of recyclables are recovered from Wisconsin residences. I am proud to do my part by participating in my community recycling program.
The funds that my community receives to help offset collection and other costs related to recycling are paid for by a $7 per ton recycling fee assessed on municipal solid waste sent to Wisconsin landfills. This user fee on disposal allows state funding to keep recycling affordable in my community without raising taxes. Without that financial assistance my community may be forced to discontinue offering convenient collection service for recyclable materials. If that happens, then recyclable materials will end up in landfills or roadsides.
I understand that there is a budget crisis, but recycling provides economic development by returning resources to the economy, providing jobs, and providing material to manufacture new products. It is appropriate for state policy to ensure that local recycling programs exist. I understand that there may be alternative ways to manage and fund recycling programs. Changes, however, should be thoughtful and well-planned so that programs and the economy are not disrupted.
Please reinstate the recycling grants to communities in AB-40/SB-27, the Governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012-2013 State Budget at the same amount as the last state budget. Furthermore, I strongly urge you to bring industry experts to the table to help develop a long term plan for the continued success of Wisconsin’s recycling system. Local recycling programs are too important to our state to risk their elimination or scale back.