Letâ€™s Not Waste an Opportunity
Thanks to all the legislators who attended the Senate and House Conservation Briefings. To read more about the 2011 Common Agenda, representing the vision of over 45,000 South Carolinians visit http://makeconservationcount.org/. One major 2011 priority of the stateâ€™s conservation community is to bolster the recycling industry, one of the fastest growing sectors of the American economy. In 2009 the recycling industry created 1,354 new jobs, $6.5 billion in economic impact, and over $300 million in capital investments in South Carolina. In an effort to create jobs and reduce the amount of trash we send to landfills, we support S.461, the Alcohol Beverage Container (ABC) Recycling bill, introduced by Sen. Ray Cleary last week. S.461 would require bars and restaurants to start recycling their plastic, glass, aluminum containers and cardboard boxes by 2013. This legislation would grow the recycling sector by 12 percent annually and create over 36,000 jobs in five years. Recycling legislation offers our state a win-win-win by boosting our economy, helping the environment, and lowering taxes.
In the Senate:
Alcohol Beverage Container (ABC) Recycling bill (S.461, Sen. Ray Cleary) PRIORITY
Last week, Sen. Cleary, introduced this bill, a major 2011 priority for the conservation community. S.461 would require bars and restaurants to start recycling their plastic, glass, aluminum containers and cardboard boxes by 2013. This legislation would lead to lower taxes, since it costs significantly less to recycle our trash ($30 a ton) than to send it to a landfill ($50 a ton) or to incinerate it ($75 a ton).This bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee.
In the House
Natural Resource Agency Funding- PRIORITY
Forestry, agriculture, outdoor recreation and tourism account for $54 billion, or about one-third, of our economy. Thatâ€™s over 450,000 jobs, or 25% of all jobs in South Carolina. However, the combined budgets of South Carolina Agriculture Department, Forestry Commission, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism account for less than one percent of the state budget. Last week, the Ways and Means Natural Resources Subcommittee (Rep. Tracy Edge- Chair, Jim Battle, Chip Huggins and Denny Neilson) heard budget requests from the Forestry Commission, and weâ€™d like to thank them for their positive response. DNR also presented its budget report and request to the Ways and Means Law Enforcement Subcommittee (Rep. Mike Pitts- Chair, Lonnie Hosey, Gary Simrill and G. Murrell Smith) and Agriculture Wildlife Subcommittee (Rep. Ted Vick-Chair, Bill Hixon, Kenneth Hodges and Kevin Ryan) whi! ch made favorable comments. This week, the aforementioned House Ways and Means Natural Resources Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Tracy Edge will hear budget requests from the Department of Agriculture Tuesday, February 1st one and a half hours after adjournment, or approximately 2:30 p.m., in Blatt Room 523. Also, the House Ways and Means Tourism Subcommittee (Rep. Jim Merrill- Chair, Liston Barfield and Gilda Cobb-Hunter) will meet Tuesday, February 1 at 9:30 a.m. in Blatt Room 511 to hear the budget requests of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Phosphorus Ban (H.3467, Rep. Dwight Loftis and Mike Pitts) SUPPORT
Rep. Dwight Loftis and Mike Pitts introduced this bill last week, which prohibits the use, sell or manufacture of dishwashing detergents containing phosphates, a harmful chemical found in our lakes and rivers. Phosphorus is already banned in 15 states because it kills fish and lowers recreational revenues and home values. This bill has been referred to the Agriculture Committee.
Protecting Our Groundwater (H.3389, Rep. Robert Brown) SUPPORT
H.3389 would require any construction, demolition or installation of a landfill to adhere to proper guidelines. Specifically, landfill liners would be used to prevent seepage into the groundwater lying underneath it. This bill would help ensure that neither our communities nor our natural landscape would be adversely affected by contaminated groundwater from landfills. The House Agriculture and Environmental Affairs I Subcommittee (Rep. David Hiott-Chair, Bill Crosby, Chandra Dillard and Chris Murphy) will discuss this bill Tuesday, February 1st at 2:30 p.m. in Blatt Room 410.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Recycling legislation offers our state a win-win-win
Letâ€™s Not Waste an Opportunity