Madison Tries To do Something…

So Madison is taking some action…..they are now going to fine you if you leave a bag leftover….sounds good to me! fine those jerks!!!

here’s the article from the Wisconsin State Journal

SAT., MAY 2, 2009 – 12:21 PM
Proposed ban would prohibit throwing out clean plastic bags in Madison
In Madison, it soon may be OK to be holding the bag — but not OK to throw it out.

Ald. Judy Compton, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and others on Tuesday will propose banning the disposal of clean, recyclable plastic bags that litter roads and lakes.

It still would be OK to use plastic bags from grocery or retail stores, or bags that hold products such as bread, newspapers, dry cleaning, toilet paper or paper towels.

Soiled bags still could be thrown out. But throwing out clean bags would carry a $100 fine for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $400 for third and later offenses in a year.

The city is likely to set up drop-off sites that would cost about $24,000 annually to operate and need an initial capital investment of $20,000 to $250,000, depending on the number of sites and type of containers.

“It’s a matter of putting our money where our mouth is on environmental issues,” Compton said. “It’s really a simple thing.”

The city would rely on cooperation rather than enforcement, recycling coordinator George Dreckmann said.

“We don’t send out people looking in Dumpsters,” he said.

Based on national averages, city residents use an estimated 74.8 million plastic bags annually but recycle less than 1 percent of them, Dreckmann said.

“They’re a big problem at the landfill and other places as well,” Dreckmann said.

Some cities, such as San Francisco, ban plastic bags, and others have laws making retailers take them back, but Madison is considering a unique approach in banning their disposal, Dreckmann said.

“It’s much less politically divisive,” he said.

Compton said she prefers a full ban but compromised because a ban could raise grocery prices and negatively impact people who ride the bus with groceries and shop in bad weather.

Compton and Dreckmann said the best approach is using reusable bags.

Vivian King, director of public affairs for Roundy’s Supermakets, which has five stores in Madison, declined comment on the proposal because she hasn’t seen details.

But Roundy’s supports recycling bags, she said.
“We encourage customers to bring back plastic bags,” she said. “We offer reusable bags. We reward customers who use reusable bags.”

Some other grocery stores accept plastic bags for recycling, Dreckmann said.

The sponsors considered other ways to help residents recycle, including a curbside pickup program, but alternatives may not be practical, Compton said.

The proposal, which will be referred to committee, “is a step in the right direction,” she said.

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