Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Bipartisan Recycling Bill Becomes Law

Press Release Date:  Monday, March 20, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Mark York

SB 50 creates grants for recycling, household hazardous waste collection

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher’s bipartisan legislation to promote and facilitate recycling by local governments has become law.

The Governor on Friday signed Senate Bill 50, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly without a dissenting vote.

SB 50, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dan Kelly (R-Springfield), would create grants for recycling and for collection of household hazardous waste. The money would come from a portion of the funding currently directed at cleaning up illegal dumps under the Kentucky Pride program.

“From the beginning, it’s been a priority of our administration to work to achieve a healthy environment, which is indispensable to a healthy economy,” Governor Fletcher said. “With this legislation, we take another step toward that goal. I am grateful to Senator Kelly for his leadership on this issue and gratified by the Legislature’s overwhelming, bipartisan support for Senate Bill 50.”

“Now that we have reduced illegal dumps in Kentucky, it is important to also provide communities a responsible way to dispose of hazardous household waste and recyclable materials instead of putting them in landfills or illegal dumps,” Sen. Kelly said. “Recycling helps local governments – and taxpayers – save money.”

The dump cleanup program was established under House Bill 174 of the 2002 General Assembly. It has been funded with proceeds of a $25 million bond issue and a fee of $1.75 per ton of waste disposed of at Kentucky landfills. Under SB 50, counties that have been successful in cleaning up illegal dumps would be eligible to use funding for recycling and collection of household hazardous waste.

LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), said the new law supports communities in preventing pollution, “not just cleaning it up after it’s on the ground.”

“Reducing the amount of waste that streams into our landfills is important for the health of our environment and our economy. This legislation provides an additional incentive for action at the community level,” the secretary said.

Recycling also helps turn trash into cash. EPPC’s Division of Waste Management estimates that 566,000 tons of materials with recycle value are disposed of in Kentucky in a year. The cost of disposal, coupled with the materials’ lost sales value, totals about $53 million a year.

The Senate passed SB 50 on a vote of 35-0 on Jan. 18. The House passed it 97-0 on March 8.