Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Senate unanimously passes recycling bill
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2006) - Legislation that has been passed unanimously by the Kentucky Senate would promote and facilitate recycling efforts by local governments.
Senate Bill 50, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dan Kelly, R-Springfield, would create recycling and household hazardous waste collection grants from a portion of the funding currently directed at cleaning up illegal dumps under the Kentucky Pride program. The Senate passed SB 50 by a vote of 35-0 on Jan. 18.
"Senate Bill 50 is just another weapon in the arsenal of the efforts to keep as little waste going into contained landfills as possible," Senator Kelly said.
The legislation would authorize an additional incentive for cleaning up the environment, he said. "Once you clean up all the illegal dumps, you can prevent the reoccurrence of illegal dumps by having recycling programs and programs to eliminate household hazardous waste," Kelly said.
LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), said, "Kentuckians can turn trash into cash by recycling. It’s good for the environment and good for the economy. We need to support our communities in preventing pollution, not just cleaning it up after it’s on the ground."
EPPC’s Division of Waste Management (DWM) estimates that some 566,000 tons of materials with recycle value in Kentucky gets disposed of in a year’s time instead of being captured. The amount of money spent to dispose of those materials, coupled with their lost sales value, totals about $53 million a year, which is nearly $13 for every man, woman and child in Kentucky.
Accordingly, DWM estimates a county with 50,000 people could generate $650,000 if it recycled instead of burying the materials in landfills. Under SB 50, counties that have been successful in cleaning up illegal dumps would be eligible for funding for recycling and collection of household hazardous waste.
The 2002 General Assembly established the dump cleanup program under House Bill 174. It has been funded with proceeds of a fee of $1.75 per ton of waste disposed of at Kentucky landfills and a $25 million bond issue.