The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters says state-mandated recycling programs are having a big budget impact on local governments. The group says those programs carried a price tag of $99 million in 2006 and local governments had to cover 75 percent of those costs.
League budget advocate Jennifer Giegerich the local cost of those programs could be reduced, if the state increased tipping fees at landfills from the current rate of $3 a ton to a proposed $10 rate. Geigerich says the increase would generate an extra $47 million that could offset the cost of recycling programs.
The increase is also intended to reduce the amount of trash being brought into Wisconsin landfills from neighboring states, where tipping fees are much higher. Geigerich says Wisconsin's low fee has made it a dumping ground for other states' trash.
Opponents of an increase in the tipping fee say it could be harmful to Wisconsin businesses as well. That's because they'd have to pay a higher price at landfills as well.
The proposal is being considered by the budget conference committee.