The state wants to know where recycling could use a boost in Indiana. The Department of Environmental Management plans to conduct a statewide recycling study.
The study aims to find out where the gaps are in the state’s recycling infrastructure — everything from curbside bins to the facilities that process recycling. That will help IDEM decide which recycling programs need state funding.
“You can't make policy change, or even sometimes personal changes, without knowing the facts. So this study is there to help us determine the hard data and the facts,” says Deanna Garner, recycling market development program manager at IDEM.
Garner says there’s also an opportunity to help the state’s recyclables find their way to Indiana manufacturers who can use them.
“We actually do have strong end-market users of recycled materials already in the state, but they're actually importing a lot of materials from out of state,” she says.
Since China stopped taking the United States' contaminated recycling, more recyclables are ending up in landfills. Garner says there could be an opportunity for Indiana to process more of the country’s recycling.
The agency hopes to complete its statewide recycling study by next June.
Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.