Indiana stops supporting recycling

Indiana’s environmental agency (IDEM) has temporarily suspended state funded grant and loan programs that support recycling and pollution prevention - a cutoff that will persist at least through summer 2010.

The move means that up to $3 million that had been approved for recycling or pollution prevention programs by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management will not reach the intended recipients.

IDEM indicated that it was halting the funding for the programs because it may not be feasible for cash-strapped local governments and businesses to provide the matching dollars needed for the state-funded programs.

IDEM spokeswoman Amy Hartsock said the agency decided to suspend funding for the grant and loan programs after Gov. Mitch Daniels’ office asked the agency to identify programs “that could be deferred” to ensure sufficient funding for health care, public safety and education.

She said the funding will remain suspended at least until the end of June 2010 and possibly the end of 2011, depending on how long the recession continues.

IDEM’s decision to halt funding affects state grant programs for waste tires, recycling, pollution prevention, household hazardous waste and public education. It also includes the state’s loan program to develop markets for recyclables.

Hartsock said the funding suspension means about $2 million for recycling market and development loans that had been awarded will be withheld from the intended recipients.

An additional $600,000 to $1 million that had been awarded under the recycling and waste tire management grant programs also will not reach the intended recipients for now, she said.