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Solid waste officials in Adams County are taking a proactive approach to potential changes in state laws and guidelines governing trash collection and disposal, trying to head off what they believe to be unnecessary and cumbersome regulations before they become law.
For the past year or more, county solid waste district director Hank Mayer and waste board attorney Tim Baker routinely have updated the waste district's board of directors about potential changes, most of which are being proposed by State Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield.
Mayer and Baker repeatedly have maintained that Gard is upset with the operation of some solid waste districts in northwest Indiana, and that the Republican lawmaker is proposing sweeping reforms to solid waste guidelines statewide in an attempt to punish those districts.
And a recent announcement from Gard that she will not seek re-election when her current Senate term expires has not put those fears to rest among local solid waste planners.
Among the changes Gard has recommended are an increase in the details to be contained in annual reports filed by solid waste district, which Mayer termed cumbersome and unnecessary, and the statewide unification of fees and surcharges districts may impose for the collection and disposal of refuse.
Mayer and Baker have written letters to state and local lawmakers and state policy-makers to object to the proposed changes, and the Adams County Solid Waste Management Board's directors have done likewise.
During the board's regular meeting on Monday, Mayer reported on an Oct. 7 meeting of the state Environmental Quality Service Council, of which Gard serves as chairwoman. Mayer said Gard again expressed dissatisfaction surrounding the "inequality of (solid waste) services throughout the state."
Following that meeting, Mayer met with State Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, to relay the concerns of county solid waste experts.