Proposal Threatens Recycling Center Funding
The Dearborn County Recycling Center in
(Aurora, Ind.) – A piece of legislation being considered in Indianapolis threatens to end recycling in Dearborn County, say officials with the Dearborn County Solid Waste Management District.
Senate Bill 210 would stop solid waste management districts around the state from levying property taxes and allow counties to opt out of funding a solid waste management district. It would also standardize how the public is taught about recycling.
DCSWMD Director Barbara Ault said if the bill becomes law, the Dearborn County Recycling Center would likely be forced to shut down as soon as 2013.
“We are dependent on our property tax levy,” Ault said.
The DCSWMD provides eleven recycling drop off locations around the county as well as hazardous material disposal at its main office – the Dearborn County Recycling Center – on U.S. 50 in Aurora. It began operation in 1993 and opened the center in 2004.
Ault, who has been with the district for 11 years, said there is currently no other recycling option for residents of Dearborn County and its three cities at a time when recycling popularity is rising. The district saw a 77 percent volume increase in its household hazardous waste intake last year. General recyclables were up by 18 percent.
But it’s not likely the district could support itself if it had to, Ault said. The district’s budget in 2011 was $850,000. It made $100,000 last year on selling recyclables, but only $20,000 the year before, she said.
“I just don’t see (privatization) happening around here, but that is something we would have to look at,” said Ault, adding that the district would likely have to seek financial support from Dearborn County Council and councils in Aurora, Greendale, and Lawrenceburg.
Ault said Indiana’s solid waste management districts are capped at one percent increases in their property tax levies each year, subject to approval by county officials and the Indiana State Board of Accounts.
Senate Bill 210 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, but has not yet received a vote.
The bill was filed by State Sen. Beverly Gard (R-Greenfield). A phone call seeking comment from Gard was not returned Tuesday.