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ADEM: New law will boost state recycling

State environmental management officials and legislators gathered at KW Plastics in Troy on Friday to celebrate a new law aimed at boosting support to local recycling programs.

The Solid Wastes and Recyclable Materials Management Act was passed by the state legislature earlier this year and took effect Oct. 1. It is aimed at expanding local recycling programs through additional funding generated by a $1 per ton fee levied on waste deposited at Alabama landfills.

“The recycling of waste materials is a major component in the conservation of our natural resources and our ability to enhance recycling opportunities will lead to a cleaner Alabama,” said Trey Glenn, director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

ADEM met at KW Plastics with state and local elected officials, including members of the Pike County Commission and the Troy City Council to discuss the new law and tour the facility.

KW Plastics is one of the world largest recyclers of polypropylene.

KW Plastics co-founder Kenny Campbell said recycling plastic is a way to conserve natural gas and crude oil, both of which are used to make polypropylene.

“You wouldn’t throw either of those commodities away, but you do every time you put plastics in the trash,” Campbell said. “Every time you are recycling plastics you are conserving natural resources.”

Elected officials praised the new law as a way to increase recycling in the state and cut down on waste put in landfills.

“Alabama is getting cleaner, greener and smarter with what we do with our waste,” said state Sen. Roger Bedford of Russellville.

In addition to supporting local recycling efforts, funds generated by the new landfill fee will be used to clean up illegal dumps on private property.

The fee is supposed to generate more than $7 million annually, the Associated Press reports.