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Protecting Waukesha County's Natural Resourses since 1978



Waste Issues

The excessive generation of waste and its disposal has created a need for an integrated solid waste disposal plan. On April 27, 1990, the State of Wisconsin passed Wisconsin Act 335, the Recycling Law. The policies set forth within the Act are being practiced throughout the state.

Focusing on pollution prevention, WEAL supports the following components of the Act:

  1. waste reduction
  2. reuse

  3. recycling
  4. composting

By following the above, residents of Waukesha County have greatly reduced the amount of waste destined for disposal. Because prevention is a key factor in reducing waste, WEAL endorses educational programs stressing reduction, reuse, and other alternatives, to achieve waste minimization goals set forth within Wisconsin Act 335.

WEAL opposes incineration as a disposal option, and objected to a waste-to-energy incinerator proposal for Waukesha County in December of 1990.

In conjunction with WEAL's pollution prevention strategy, we endorse:

  1. Countywide educational programs emphasizing waste reduction and reuse, such as the "Be Smart" program.
  2. Continued expansion of the county's Recycling Program.
  3. Creation of a permanent drop-off site for household hazardous waste in conjunction with educational components suggesting alternatives to the use of these products.
  4. Toxic Use Reduction programs for industrial generators of hazardous waste.
  5. Home composting, followed in priority by community composting and countywide composting.

An integrated solid waste disposal plan can only be effective through cooperation of citizens and government at all levels. This will result in a number of lifestyle changes, ultimately improving the quality of life for Waukesha County residents.

written 12/92

revised 12/95 SL

revised 2/96 CL

Land Application of Sewage Sludge

Addendum to WEAL'S Waste Issues Position Statement

WEAL opposes the land application of sludge generated at wastewater treatment plants (WWTP's) because of the following concerns:

  1. Composition is determined by what is flushed through the system at any given time from industrial, institutional, commercial, and residential customers.
  2. Many WWTP's accept leachate, the cause of groundwater contamination at landfills, for treatment and disposal.
  3. Land application of sewage sludge does not require public notification or an opportunity for public comment.
  4. Land can be sold for any type of development, including residential, without disclosure regarding sludge applications, raising citizen "right to know" issues.
  5. Consistent with WEAL's Clean Water Position, sludge used for fertilizer or soil amendments can contribute to non-point source pollution.
  6. Improved treatments to reduce toxicity of effluent causes greater concentrations of toxics in sludge.

WEAL also opposes land application of septage sludge.

Because beneficial nutrients are present along with toxins in sewage sludge, WEAL supports:

  1. Source separation of waste streams.
  2. Toxics Use Reduction Programs.
  3. Creation of permanent collection center for household hazardous waste in conjunction with educational components stressing alternatives.
  4. Biological treatment technologies such as "constructed wetlands" or "living machines".
  5. Application of treatments to destroy pathogens.

Implementing programs of this nature will reduce the volume of toxic materials entering WWTP's resulting in the production of safer soil amendments.

Additionally, WEAL supports public ownership and control of WWTP's and will continue to advocate for programs and methods designed to achieve pollution prevention and accountability for the citizens of Waukesha County.

written 7/96 CL

approved 7//96