“Sleeper Law” No. 1: Start collecting recyclable materials — if you haven’t been already

By Denise Dittrich, MSBA Associate Director of Government Relations

As mentioned in the previous post, over the next few weeks this blog will be dedicated to highlighting new laws affecting school districts (directly or indirectly) that you may not be aware of (which we’ll call “sleeper laws”).

This first “sleeper law” is one of my favorites because it demonstrates how legislation gets passed in phases — so that the opposition does not kill the bill when initially introduced. As time goes on, the law gets more restrictive with little fanfare since it is looked at as a minor change.

I am referring to SF 663 (Chapter 225). This bill modified existing statute that required public entities, from which mixed municipal solid waste is collected, have containers for at least three recyclable materials such as paper, glass, plastic and metal.

School districts were included in this requirement and I presume you have the appropriate number of containers in all your buildings. However, if you were not wholeheartedly behind the recycling effort — the Legislature clarified that for you.  They added the words “and collect” to the statute:

“… ensure that facilities under its control, from which mixed municipal solid waste is collected, have containers for also collect at least three recyclable materials, such as, but not limited to, paper, glass, plastic, and metal;”

So if your three recycling containers were sitting in the classroom, cafeteria, field house or cafeteria day after day empty, that is not enough. Effective January 1, 2016, you must also “collect” at least three recyclable materials and you may want to start preparing for this new requirement now.

About mnmsba

The Minnesota School Boards Association, a leading advocate for public education, supports, promotes and strengthens the work of public school boards.
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