Messmer Column: Improving recycling in Indiana

Local Sources- On this week's Messmer Column, State Senator Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) discusses improving Indiana Recycling.

Recycled materials are a resource that many Hoosier manufacturers need to create their products, but recently, there has been a scarcity of such materials in our state. Unfortunately, in Indiana we only recycle about 20% of our waste, which lags behind the national average of 35%. This leads to many businesses importing recyclables.

To help alleviate this resource scarcity, and to promote more recycling in Indiana, I sponsored House Enrolled Act 1226. HEA 1226 establishes a pilot project to determine the most practical and effective means of separating recyclable materials.

To do this, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management will review proposals from private industries and consider the type and amount of waste that could be diverted and prioritize applications based on the largest amount of waste diversion potential. Four million dollars have been allocated to help implement these proposals.

This pilot project will begin in Marion County, where the recycling rate is considerably low at 7%. If these proposals are deemed successful at the conclusion of the two-year pilot project, we could see similar programs expand throughout the state.

By working with those who create and need these recyclable materials the most, I believe we will be able to make strides in streamlining this process and bring Indiana closer to its goal of recycling 50% of our waste in the years ahead.

Not only is this good for Hoosier manufacturers, but it will benefit our citizens and environment as well.

As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at [email protected] or by phone at 800-382-9467.