Messmer Column: Making advances in recycling in Indiana

Local Sources- On this week's Messmer Column, State Senator Mark Messmer discusses making advancements in recycling. 

Recycling not only benefits the environment but the Hoosier economy, as businesses can use recycled products for manufacturing purposes.

During the 2022 legislative session, I sponsored House Enrolled Act 1226, which created the Central Indiana Waste Diversion Pilot Program to determine useful ways to divert materials away from waste streams for commercial reuse and reduced regulations to speed up the recycling process.

This pilot program is managed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and provides funding to help expand recycling initiatives in Marion, Hamilton, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan, Hendricks and Boone counties.

Earlier this year, the state awarded the first round of funding to three private entities, which were selected by the Indiana Recycling Market Development Board.

Initially, the program was limited to Marion County. However, House Enrolled Act 1512, which I sponsored during the 2023 legislative session, expands the program to counties adjacent to Marion County for the second round of funding, which will award $2 million for projects.

Central Indiana was selected for this pilot program because it has low recycling rates, and these counties have a lot of overlap with waste service providers.

This area also has the largest growth opportunity for recycling, and the demand for materials will increase.

If the pilot program is successful, lawmakers could look to expand it to other regions like Southern Indiana, or even statewide.

I believe this program will help reduce burdens to recycling and benefit Hoosier households, manufacturers and our environment for years to come.

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.