Rewind on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Yesterday I had a tooth pulled, and it hurt less than reading through Governor Walker’s proposed budget (true story).

If passed in its current form, the Governor’s budget would roll back Wisconsin’s commitment to keep algae-causing phosphorus out of our waters and eliminate the Office of Energy Independence. Perhaps most egregious, however, is Governor Walker’s proposal to end the requirement that municipalities and counties provide residents with access to local recycling programs.

I never thought that I would have to fight for recycling when I started working as a media specialist for Clean Wisconsin in 2008.

I was a mere four years old when Clean Wisconsin helped pass the first Wisconsin Recycling Law in 1990. Since that time, Wisconsin has been recognized as a leader in recycling and Republicans and Democrats alike have celebrated the Recycling Law’s ability to reduce waste, cut pollution, save energy and create jobs.

Wisconsinites currently recycle over 30 percent of our waste, and this helps keep almost 2 million tons of waste out of our landfills — that’s a lot of waste!

Additionally, recycling paper produces 73 percent less air pollution than using virgin materials, and recycling glass reduces mining waste by 80 percent.

Recycling represents the core of environmental principle. To recycle is to efficiently maximize the utility of our resources and reduce our impact on the environment. For decades, Wisconsin has been recognized as a leader in recycling.

To cut access to local recycling programs in the budget is a wasteful proposal that would move Wisconsin nearly two decades backward on environmental policy.

At Clean Wisconsin, we will fight with a deep conviction to ensure that every Wisconsin resident retains access to local recycling programs.

We will also let you know of actions you can take to support this effort, so please stay tuned!

-Contributed by Sam Weis, Media Specialist

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