Proposed ordinance would overturn ban on plastic bags for yard w - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Proposed ordinance would overturn ban on plastic bags for yard waste

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Starting January 1, 2015, it will be illegal to use plastic garbage bags for yard waste in Louisville - or will it?

One Metro Councilman's concern could junk the plan.

Councilman Kevin Kramer (R-Dist. 11) says the issue is not whether banning plastic bags is or is not a good idea.

The issue, he says, is whether a Metro government agency even had the authority to pass the ban.

Back in May the Waste Management District board, which is appointed by the mayor, approved the new rule banning plastic bags for yard waste, beginning Jan. 1

But the problem, says Kramer, is that a current ordinance specifically allows the use of plastic bags.

"So you've got an un-elected board who is creating policies that are in direct conflict with local ordinance. And that's a problem," said Kramer.

Kramer has introduced a new ordinance that declares the plastic bag ban null and void because it contradicts existing law.

"It says the mayor, or the mayor's administration, can't add a policy that's contrary to the law. So, basically, that's what this is going to do," said Kramer.

But Mayor Greg Fischer disagrees, saying the Waste Management District does have the authority to enact the ban.

Fischer says he'll fight Kramer's efforts.

"The result of that would be a potential overturn of the plastic bag ban, which would be a real step backwards for the community in terms of environmental sustainability," he said.

But Kramer says that is an issue for Metro Council to decide.

"No board or commission should have the authority to write policy that trumps ordinance. That's what I believe, and that's what this is really all about," said Kramer.

So what do Louisville residents do when Jan. 1 rolls around?

"I would argue, follow the law," said Kramer. "In the urban services district you can use plastic bags."

It's not clear how much support Kramer's ordinance has on Metro Council.

The issue may not be resolved until well after the Jan. 1 deadline.

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