The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

State News

August 28, 2013

Panel questions cuts to Indiana recycling programs

INDIANAPOLIS — Legislators and recycling advocates asked the state environmental chief Wednesday why millions of dollars had been shifted out of recycling programs since the recession, saying the initiatives could have created thousands of jobs.

Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington, noted that $20 million in funds that lawmakers intended to promote recycling had been reverted to the state in recent years, and an $8 million balance was currently going unused.

"It seems like there's an awful lot we could have been doing over that period of time with $20 million," Stoops said at the meeting of the state environmental advisory council.

State environmental Commissioner Tom Easterly said much of the funding for recycling programs was suspended during the 2008 recession, when Indiana, like other states, cut spending to offset lost revenues. He also said several programs had become ineffective.

"We can collect all the recyclables we want, but if we don't have someone to buy them, it doesn't make any difference," Easterly said.

But Carey Hamilton, executive director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition, said by not spending more on recycling, the state was squandering the opportunity to attract at least 20,000 jobs that could come not only from recycling services, but also industries that rely on recycled materials.

"There's a real opportunity here, an economic opportunity," Hamilton said.

Of the six million tons of trash Indiana residents throw away each year, 92 percent can be recycled, Hamilton said, and 77 manufacturers in the state use recycled materials.

Alcoa spokeswoman Sally Rideout Lambert told the panel much of the aluminum the worldwide corporation uses comes from recycled cans and similar sources.

Indiana, Lambert said, uses 2.2 billion aluminum cans every year, of which perhaps a quarter are recycled.

"So every year, Hoosiers are throwing $40 million in the landfill," she said.

State Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, said Gov. Mike Pence's administration had cut the $1.1 million legislators had approved to spend on the recycling programs this year to $500,000.

A spokeswoman for Pence did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment.

1
Text Only
State News
  • Sheriff wants OK to raise wages, keep employees

    A northern Indiana sheriff is asking local officials to lift a pay freeze that took effect during the Great Recession so he can retain employees.

    April 21, 2014

  • 2 Indianapolis fires leave 1 dead, 20 displaced Two Indianapolis fires have left one man dead and about 20 residents of an apartment building looking for new homes.

    April 20, 2014

  • 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not fill field

    With less than two weeks to go, the 38th 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not have a full field for the first time in 12 years.

    April 20, 2014

  • Turner case tests bounds of 'citizen legislature'

    When a legislative ethics panel meets this week to review the case of House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, members could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

    April 20, 2014

  • NWS - HB0420 - FEMA Kokomo Flooding 03 FEMA’s disaster decisions frustrate state, local leaders FEMA denied the state’s request to declare a “major disaster” after tornadoes swept Indiana last November, despite millions of dollars in damages. The decision prompted protests from Indiana’s Congressional delegation, and it stoked growing frustrations with FEMA, especially in the Midwest.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • Miami Correctional 06.JPG Indiana county worried about new law's impact

    A new law revamping the state's criminal code has sparked concerns in northeastern Indiana's Allen County that it will saddle the county with new costs and fill up the local jail.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0216 - Mitch Daniels Purdue office Daniels joins 2016 presidential debate commission

    Mitch Daniels spurned calls to run for the White House in 2012, but the Purdue University president will have a hand in the 2016 race.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0419 - County track - 116 Arabians sweep track titles again Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the competitors at the Madison County track meet Friday at Madison-Grant. The Pendleton Heights boys and girls teams were looking to take the county for the third year in a row, but Anderson and Lapel had other ideas. It started off as a record-setting meet and finished with a bang as Pendleton was able to wrap up both titles. The girls held off a stiff challenge from Lapel to win 167.5-147, and the boys took the final event of the night to squeak out a 156.5-148.5 win over Lapel.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • news_southwest.jpg Flight lands safely in Indiana after threat

    An Indianapolis airport spokesman said a Southwest Airlines flight safely made an emergency landing after the airline received some kind of threat.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis police officer kills ex-wife, self

    Authorities say an Indianapolis police officer shot and killed his estranged wife, also an officer, and then turned the gun on himself.

    April 18, 2014

Staff Photos


We're looking for your photos! Share your photos of your favorite people, places and Madison County events in our September reader photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide