"Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005,” providing more evidence that middle-class families in Indiana are getting squeezed; wages are decreasing while basic living expenses continue to rise.

One of the most startling statistics shows an increase of 62,000 Hoosiers living in poverty from 2004 to 2005. That may in part be due to the fact that median household income level in Indiana dropped by almost 3 percent.

In 2003-2004, the median household income in Indiana was $44,383. In 2004-2005 that number dropped to $43,091, adjusted for inflation according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As their wages decreased, Hoosiers saw huge increases in the cost of health insurance. Between 2000 and 2004, out-of-pocket insurance premium costs for family coverage increased nearly 60 percent according to a separate government report released earlier this year.

38th Street closed again

Beginning after morning rush hour on Monday, Sept. 11, eastbound West 38th Street, between Cold Springs Road and Michigan Road, will close to through traffic for approximately two weeks.

During the seven-day curing process of the final overlay, divots formed over the White River Bridge, causing the pavement to hold pockets of water. This standing water poses a potential safety hazard during periods of heavy rain or freezing conditions.

To repair this hazard, approximately 600-700 feet of overlay must be removed and replaced. Eastbound West 38th Street will remain open to Cold Springs and Knollton Roads; however, the city recommends the detour route of I-65 to Exit 117, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, north on MLK to 38th Street. Westbound West 38th Street is not affected by this closure.

New recycling program

Deputy Mayor Steve Campbell, Director of the Department of Public Works Kumar Menon and others announced the launch of Recycle Indianapolis and the kick off of the Downtown Recycling Initiative last week.

Recycle Indianapolis is a new, comprehensive program designed to broaden recycling participation in Indianapolis through increased awareness and education by promoting ease of use, waste reduction and environmental responsibility through personal, neighborhood and citywide opportunities.

“The goal of Recycle Indianapolis is to change the attitude, behavior and understanding of recycling in Indianapolis by the general public, industries and schools as well as encourage active participation in source reduction, reuse and recycling of solid waste and other materials,” Menon said. “This program complements our increasing efforts to position Indianapolis as an environmentally healthy community that is a leader in responsibly using our energy and natural resources.”

Recycling is the reprocessing of used materials that would otherwise become waste in order to break them down and remake them into new products. Recycling conserves natural and economic resources, prevents waste from being sent to the landfill, reduces pollution and the consumption of new raw materials, and is advocated by supporters to require less energy than virgin production.

“The launch of Recycle Indianapolis begins a year-long dialogue we will have with the community to determine the perceptions, benefits and barriers to recycling. We want the public to help us design a viable program that will be utilized by all Indianapolis/Marion County residents,” Campbell said.

Currently, approximately 12 percent of the 254,579 homes in Marion County eligible for curbside recycling subscribe to the service. To preclude the city from subsidizing curbside recycling, participation must increase. Curbside service is available for approximately $5 per month but costs the city $8.57 per week for collection and processing of the recyclable materials.

DPW will host monthly Town Hall meetings in each township beginning in October 2006. The meetings will be open to the public and are intended to promote a discussion on the current and future state of recycling in Indianapolis.

In addition to the launch of Recycle Indianapolis, DPW kicked off the Downtown Recycling Initiative in partnership with Waste Management and Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. Decorative recycling containers supplied by Waste Management have been placed in five strategic downtown Indianapolis locations to promote aluminum and plastic recycling among residents, businesses and tourists: the northwest corner of Ohio and Meridian; northwest corner of Illinois and Washington; northeast corner of Georgia and Capitol; northeast corner of Meridian and Maryland; and northwest corner of Delaware and Washington.

“Downtown Indianapolis has long been touted as one of the cleanest in the nation,” said Anne Maschmeyer, beautification manager for Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. “This new recycling program is yet another effort that will contribute to downtown’s clean and green image.”



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