Protecting Our Environment, and Providing More Accountability

In 1989, the Legislature authorized the creation of regional solid waste districts to assist our cities and counties in better protecting the quality of our environment.   The Boston Mountain Solid Waste District was created to develop programs for recycling, the disposal of waste tires and household hazardous waste, and the closure of illegal dumps in Washington and Madison Counties.

To pay for these new programs, the Legislature authorized the collection of fees and charges to implement these new programs that better protected or environment.  However, a 2010 lawsuit abolished the fee system on a technicality. 

This year, I authored the bill to clarify the power of regional solid waste districts to re-establish a reasonable fee to underwrite the cost of these vital environmental protection programs.  In writing the bill, I also added language to require districts that charged a fee to really, in fact, deliver programs for recycling, the disposal of waste tires and household hazardous waste, and the closure of illegal dumps.  I wanted to hold regional solid waste districts accountable for delivering these essential services, or they wouldn’t get paid.  I think that’s what good government is all about.