[GRRN] Landfill tipping fee proposed to fund Wisconsin's recycling program

John Reindl (reindl@co.dane.wi.us)
Thu, 6 May 1999 18:21:57 -0600

In order to fund Wisconsin's recycling program, a key legislator has
proposed a landfill tipping fee surcharge of $16 a ton for municipal
waste and $11 a ton for non-municipal waste.

Senator Brian Burke, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, which is
expected to make the ultimately decision on how to finance the state's
recycling program, has proposed this system with two major changes in
the state's program. First, the state currently helps communities pay for
about one-third of their recycling programs. Under the proposal, the
state would pick up 100% of local recycling programs. While the
surcharge on household waste would increase community costs by an
estimated $31 million (assuming an increase in recycling by
communities that would result in a 30% decrease in landfill tonnages),
the communities would see their state grants increase from $24 million
to $76 million a year, and thus be ahead by a net of $21 million.

Second, for the business community, the proposal is expected to raise
some $30 million on non-municipal waste (primarily waste from paper
mills, electric utilities and foundries) and it is proposed to simultaneously
provide businesses with a $30 million reduction in their unemployment
compensation taxes. Calling this part of the proposal "Tax waste, not
work", the landfill tax is patterned after other "Green Taxes".

This is the first concrete proposal by a legislator that has surfaced for
continuing Wisconsin's financial assistance for local recycling
programs. Wisconsin requires local communities to have mandatory
recycling programs and as part of this effort, state law has the state
participate in the funding of this mandate. Other proposals for funding
local recycling programs are certain to appear in the next several weeks
as the Legislature works on the state budget, with a goal to be finished
by early July.

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI

(608)267-1533 - fax
(608)267-8815 - phone