September 15, 2011
 
 
Bipartisan Effort to Help Local Businesses, Improve Recycling
 
Madison – Sen. Chris Larson (D–Milwaukee) and Rep. Mark Honadel (R-South Milwaukee) teamed up to assist local businesses in the community and safeguard our environment by introducing legislation today that updates Wisconsin law regarding lead acid battery deposits.
 
Current law requires lead acid battery sellers to accept a consumer’s used battery for a deposit that is no more than $5. However, this mandated cap no longer reflects the prevailing market value of used lead acid batteries. As a result, local businesses have been losing money when depositing old lead acid batteries to the nearby recycling center that charges the market rate, which is usually greater than $5.
 
The bill authored by Sen. Larson and Rep. Honadel updates Wisconsin’s antiquated law by requiring a deposit no less than $5 for all businesses, allowing the market to set the core charge amount. This legislative change will help to ensure that local businesses are no longer at a financial disadvantage while also encouraging increased lead acid battery recycling efforts.
 
“With changing times and changing technologies, we must adapt our laws to better protect our future,” said Sen. Larson. “This bipartisan proposal has solid support of both the business and environmental communities across Wisconsin.”
 
This legislative idea was brought to the attention of Sen. Larson and Rep. Honadel by a small business owner in Oak Creek during a community meeting. Since that time, this bill has also received support from other local businesses and environmental proponents in the community.
 
“Senator Larson and I met early on this legislative session and this proposal shows a good bipartisan commitment to care for, and also keep things fair for, all of our good Wisconsin businesses,” said Rep. Honadel. “I believe this bipartisan legislation is a good step toward protecting our small businesses that recycle lead acid batteries.”
 
Wisconsin has a long tradition of supporting small businesses and protecting its natural resources. This bill seeks to ensure a fair and competitive environment for Wisconsin consumers and businesses while continuing the benefits of battery recycling.