Atlanta, GA – HB 1059, a bill that would repeal the 14 year old ban on yard trimmings being sent to municipal solid waste landfills in the state of Georgia, passed through the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committee on Wed. with only three dissenting voices.
“Georgia’s growing composting industry has literally found a way to generate money and jobs out of trash, and now the state wants to pull the rug out from under them,” said Jennette Gayer, Policy Advocate with Environment Georgia. “A 10 percent unemployment rate means Georgia should be looking for ways to help this green industry grow.”
In a letter to Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division EPA’s Region 4 Director Alan Farmer clarified the EPA’s opposition to the legislation and noted that “In 2002, EPA found in its Recycling Economic Information study that five times as many people were employed in the recycling.reuse industries than in the waste management industry and that a recycling industry employee is paid about $1,500 more in wages than one in the waste industry.”
If passed, the bill will turn back 14 years of composting and recycling progress that the state of Georgia has made in years since the ban went into effect in 1996. Not only will this bill’s passage affect a growing composting industry but it will also shorten landfill lifespan as up to 1.5 million tons of additional yard trimmings will be added yearly.
“Unfortunately, this bill is being promoted as a renewable energy bill,” continued Gayer. “A closer look at the bills outcome shows that additional landfill methane production means more greenhouse gas pollution released in to the atmosphere.”