WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and co-founder of the Senate Recycling Caucus, today released the following statement on the 25th anniversary of America Recycles Day.
“As an avid recycler and composter, I have long believed that every day should be America Recycles Day. By taking old products and turning them into new ones, recycling demonstrates our shared commitment to leaving behind a cleaner planet for future generations. Recycling is a win-win—reducing waste and harmful greenhouse gas emissions, while also creating jobs and economic opportunity. Most Americans recognize the benefits of recycling and want to do their part to reduce the waste that too often ends up in our landfills and oceans.
“Yet, with a recycling rate of only 32 percent, it’s clear that we can and must do better. Fortunately, we are taking action in Congress to strengthen our nation’s patchwork of recycling systems. Earlier this year, the Senate unanimously passed a pair of bipartisan recycling bills that I developed along with Senators Capito and Boozman. Our legislation would improve recycling infrastructure, increase access to recycling programs, and collect important data on recycling, all of which is good for our planet and economy.
“So this America Recycles Day, I hope my colleagues in the House will seize the opportunity before them and work to pass our commonsense recycling legislation. By sending these bipartisan recycling bills to the president’s desk, we will show the American people that we are serious about fixing our nation’s recycling challenges and delivering a more sustainable future.”
MORE ON THE RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING ACCOUNTABILITY ACT (S.3743) AND THE RECYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE AND ACCESSIBILITY ACT (S.3742):
The Recycling and Composting Accountability Act would improve data collection on our nation’s recycling systems and explore the potential of a national composting strategy. The legislation would require EPA to collect and distribute data on recycling and composting rates across the country to provide an accurate reflection of performance both nationwide and at the state level. This information is critical to evaluating future recycling policies. Text of the bill is available here and a summary is available here.
The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act would establish a new grant program at the EPA that would provide funding to eligible entities for improving recycling accessibility in a single community, or several communities within the same geographic area. The program's goal is to fund eligible projects that would significantly improve access to recycling systems in underserved communities through a hub-and-spoke model for recycling infrastructure development. Text of the bill is available here and a summary is available here.