Recycling is an important step in the conservation of natural resources, promoting sustainability, and economic development. The City is currently required by state statute to ban recyclable items from the sanitary landfill. If state law changes, the City should continue to ban these items. Curbside collection of recyclables is the most effective method of promoting recycling and should be continued. There should also be transparency on how recyclable materials are ultimately disposed of. This could be in the form of an annual report or press release. The City should ensure that out-of-city waste haulers follow the same recycling rules as the City of Janesville. The City should make arrangements for the recycling of appliances and electronics, or minimally, provide information regarding the methods for recycling these.
Recycling should be financed and encouraged by a combination of tax revenue, user fees and tipping fees. It would be equitable to have a small surcharge per ton for solid waste generated by Janesville's commercial and industrial facilities. ) Property taxes pay for any shortfall in landfill expenses which are mot generated by the tipping fees charges for solid waste from outside of Janesville.) The surcharge should be large enough to encourage these faculties to recycle, but not so large as to be inequitable.
Post-consumer waste has been the focus of most recycling efforts to date. Finding outlets for post-production waste increases manufacturing efficiency and can be especially healthy for companies that locate their business together in industrial parks. We strongly urge the City of Janesville to work with industries to form these partnerships and locate in eco-industrial parks, which encourage the sharing of resources, including the use of one another's unwanted by-products.
Citizen education is a key element in an effective recycling program. We strongly urge the City of Janesville to promote recycling with greater vigor, including pamphlets, TV and radio spots, and occasional newspaper ads, to include information in water or tax bills, to use billboards, and to include handbooks with the new containers being provided for mechanized collection.
The City should require that public places, which have trash containers for public use, also include properly marked recycling bins nearby. Sports and entertainment venues, schools, and government facilities should all be required to have adequate and appropriately marked containers for recycling along with the trash receptacles. Retail stores (in addition to supermarkets) should be encouraged to make the location of depositories for plastic bags more visible and encourage the use of reusable bags for purchases.
The League of Women Voters of Janesville should assist collaboratively in the educational efforts to encourage recycling in our community. These efforts could include producing pamphlets and flyers, supplying speakers, encouraging recycling education in the Janesville schools, and encouraging other groups to educate their members and the public at large. Members could also make individual efforts to monitor the placement and use of recycling containers in the community.