Environment
5:33 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Five-Year Plan for Solid Waste Nears Final Stages

Louisville Metro Government’s new five-year plan for solid waste includes proposals to ban the use of plastic bags for yard waste and a plan to expand composting.

The five-year plan is required by state law, and is up for discussion at the Solid Waste board meeting tonight. Environmental engineer Sarah Lynn Cunningham is on the solid waste advisory committee. She says she’s in favor of ambitious goals, but has yet to see any evidence that Metro Government will commit to the goals it lays out in the plan.

“I just think that if we’re going do it, let’s do it well," she said. "Let’s take on a real challenge and let’s do it with our eyes wide open based on what we’ve already learned. I was doing food composting at MSD almost 20 years ago.”

Cunningham sent a memo to the board, outlining the issues she has with the five-year plan. Her expectations are low, but she wants to see the plan amended to change the way the city administers its 12-year-old program for recycling electronics.

“And I believe that it would be very important for us to conduct an annual environmental audit to make sure that those companies aren’t shipping those heavy metal waste products off to say, China or Africa where they could get into children’s hands,” she said.

With help from a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the city aims to increase recycling 25 percent within three years and divert 90 percent of solid waste from landfills over the next three decades.

A public hearing on the five-year plan is scheduled for September.