Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will sign a statewide recycling bill that will create an aspirational goal of reaching a 50 percent recycling rate while reworking the way annual data is reported.
The original language of the bill, authored by Rep. David Wolkins, a Republican, included a mandate to reach the ambitious recycling goal by 2019. Owing to a lack of sufficient current data to indicate how far Indianans have to go, however, Wolkins said the legislators removed the 2019 goal.
“They were afraid to put in an actual date until we find out exactly how bad we are,” Wolkins was quoted as saying in an Associate Press article. “If we’re down in the 10 to 15 percent range, it might take us a long time to get there.”
Despite the late inning change, the bill was welcomed by a wide array of supporters, including the Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC). In a press release, the group called the bill, backed by IRC research released last year, “a crucial first step towards building Indiana’s recycling industry.”
According to the IRC research, recycling 25 percent of waste currently going to landfill could add up to 10,000 recycling-related jobs in the state.
New reporting requirements will ask recycling companies to report annual collection data to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Once compiled and analyzed, IDEM will present yearly findings to state legislators tasked with tracking recycling progress in the state.
Requiring Indiana’s industrial and incinerator sectors to also report on data, another original stipulation of the bill, was trumpeted by National Waste & Recycling Association’s (NW&RA) Indiana chapter president Terry Guerin. He indicated such data reportage is an ongoing priority of the NW&RA. “We will be back next year,” Guerin said in a press release.