Joint Finance Committee to Neighboring States: Keep Your Own Trash or Pay Up

, By Clean Wisconsin

Committee votes to increase tipping fee and restores funding to Clean Sweep program

MADISON — The Joint Finance Committee today acted to create disincentive for neighboring states to dump trash in Wisconsin landfills by voting to significantly raise the tipping fee, a fee charged on a per-ton basis for dumping non-recycled waste in the state.

“Today’s actions help ensure that Wisconsin doesn’t serve as a landfill for states across the Upper Midwest,” said Amber Meyer Smith, program director at Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental advocacy organization. “We applaud today’s actions by the Joint Finance Committee that will help solve a significant problem for our state.”

A relatively low tipping fee provides incentive for neighboring states to export their trash to Wisconsin landfills. As a result, over 25 percent of garbage dumped in Wisconsin landfills currently comes across the border from other states.

“Increasing the tipping fee rate will reduce the incentive for other states to send their garbage into Wisconsin, and ensure that they pay their fair share when they choose to do so,” said Smith. “This is a no lose proposition – it creates increased revenue for the state while decreasing the amount of trash dumped on Wisconsin land.”

Beyond increasing the tipping fee, the Joint Finance Committee also voted today to restore funding to the Clean Sweep program, an initiative that funds the environmentally safe disposal of hazardous household waste. Clean Sweep events collect an average of nearly two million pounds of hazardous waste annually from Wisconsin homes, helping to keep toxic substances like mercury from entering our landfills and contaminating our waters.

“Clean Sweep is a vital program that preserves our environment by providing a convenient avenue for homeowners to properly dispose of hazardous waste,” said Smith. “Today’s votes in the Joint Finance Committee will help reduce the inflow of trash from other states, as well as keep toxic substances from polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink.”