Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal would put an end to the state's mandatory recycling program and the state financial support for it.
The state currently spends $29.3 million on recycling (27% of the cost), while local government spends $110 million on recycling. Without state funding, many cities would be hard-pressed to continue providing recycling opportunities for residents. According to city economist Dennis Yaccarino, Milwaukee would lose $3.3 million a year in recycling aid.
Recycling helps reduce waste and pollution, and create jobs. The state´s recycling industry would suffer a serious economic blow, with business closures and higher unemployment. Waste Management has invested more than $30 million in recent years on a recycling infrastructure because they recognize that aluminum, plastic, and glass all has value. However, for recycling to thrive, there needs to be state mandates and state subsidies.
The budget propose to eliminate curbside recycling but consumers would still be prohibited from disposing of recyclables such as aluminum cans and newspapers in the trash. Consumers would be left to finding recycling opportunities on their own.