Monday, March 10, 2008 - 4:41am

At its meeting on Tuesday, March 4, 2008, the Madison Common Council, by an unanimous vote, passed two environmental initiatives: an ordinance change that requires all special events that sell things in recyclable containers to have a recycling plan as part of their street use permit, and a resolution that calls for Madison to participate in the "Lights Out America" event planned for March 29, 2008 in cities around the country.

The change in the Street Use Permit Ordinance calls for special events to have recycling plans, if they sell items in recyclable containers. Recycling is a way to put fewer materials in the landfill and to conserve resources. Recycling plans are reviewed by George Dreckmann the City of Madison's Recycling Coordinator. The plans have already been required for Street Use Permits for the last two years. The Common Council added this requirement to each Street Use Permit. This ordinance change codifies this past practice into law. There have been few problems complying with the requirement to date. Festival Organizers have been able to work with Dreckmann on coming up with the best way to deal with recyclables. The ordinance change was sponsored by Alders Tim Gruber, Satya Rhodes-Conway, Robbie Webber, Marsha Rummel and Larry Palm.

The suggestion to have Madison participate in the "Lights Out America" event was made by Inga Berg, a constituent of District 11 Alder Tim Gruber. The idea, which has spread nationwide, is to turn off all lights from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 29th. Coal fired generation of electricity is a cause of global warming and other environmental problems. Turning off lights for one hour will save electricity and will raise awareness about the importance of conserving electricity. The City of Madison of will play a leadership role by turning off non-essential lights in city facilities and by encouraging others to do the same on March 29 and throughout the year. The resolution was sponsored by Alders Tim Gruber, Brian Solomon, Brenda Konkel, Lauren Cnare, Mike Verveer, Robbie Webber, Marsha Rummel, Eli Judge, Paul Skidmore, Judy Compton, Joe Clausius, Mark Clear, Larry Palm, Tim Bruer and Satya Rhodes-Conway.


  • Ald. Tim Gruber, District 11663-5264