ISWM (Zero Waste?) for Wisconsin

John Reindl 608-267-8815 (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:13:14 -0500

Dear List Members -

I would greatly appreciate the help of any of you with suggestions for
turning our goals and theories of mimizing waste generation and disposal
into reality here in Wisconsin.

Our Legislature has apppointed a special committee to revise our mandatory
recycling law -- which includes a long list of items, both from the residential
and commercial sector -- to go the next step or steps further. At our last
meeting, the committee has agreed by and large to the principals of
using financial incentives and technical assistance to move towards
consolidation of municipal recycling programs, and to encourage and
assist the development of integrated solid waste management plans
and systems at a county or multi-county level. But as one
of the committee members said ,`the devil is in the details', and we have
until about November 10th to put these details together to send out to the
other committee members for their review on the 19th of November.

We will be looking at the Iowa program, and trying to gather as much
detail as we can from California, Nebraska and the Swedish MIME model.

Other input is needed, however, starting with what are our goals. One
member of the committee thinks it should be to produce the lowest system
possible -- another privately suggested that this could imply just
throwing out the window -- another wants to set specific state minimum
standards, and leave it at that, another would like to divert all
that is possible from landfills with little regard for price; most
committee members have been rather quiet, and at least tenatively

Beyond goals, there are then the details on the use of NRC's Full Cost
Accounty, how much power to give to government versus
non-government entities to implement the system, how to
finance the systems, etc. One concern of one of the business
representatives is that he doesn't want government, especially local
government, banning the sale of products that are hard to recycle.

One thought that has popped up is to do some demonstration systems of ISWM
before pushing the entire state into such systems.

Your thoughts would be most appreciated.

For those of you would like to follow the work of this committee, the
background and option papers are being placed on the Internet at under
"Legislative council Staff materials" under the Special Committee on the
Future of Recycling.

Thanks much!

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County Department of Public Works