WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the EPW Committee, and John Boozman (R-Ark.), also a member of the EPW Committee, celebrated Senate passage of two pieces of bipartisan legislation focused on improving our nation’s recycling and composting systems.

In April 2023, Capito, Carper, and Boozman introduced both pieces of legislation that were subsequently passed by the EPW Committee, the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2023, which would create a pilot program to increase access to recycling services in underserved areas, such as rural communities in West Virginia, and the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act, which would improve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to gather data on our nation’s recycling systems and explore opportunities for implementing a national composting strategy.

“By passing these bills, the Senate took a positive step forward in making it easier for more people to recycle, especially in rural states like West Virginia, which is good for the environment and our economy,” Ranking Member Capito said. “This bipartisan legislation would implement commonsense policies and programs to improve access to recycling across the country, and create good-paying jobs in our communities. I appreciate Chairman Carper and Senator Boozman for once again working together to increase recycling and composting opportunities in the future.”

“Most Americans want to do their part to reduce waste and harmful pollution,” Chairman Carper said. “Yet, roughly two-thirds of recyclable materials still aren’t being recycled, resulting in more and more waste polluting our land, air and oceans. These two bipartisan bills will help address several of the challenges plaguing our nation’s recycling and composting systems — including reliable data collection and improving access to recycling programs. I am pleased to see these two bills pass the Senate, and I thank Senators Capito and Boozman for once again working with me on a critical issue for our nation and our planet, because there is no Planet B.”

“These bills will lead to sustainable practices that preserve our resources while enhancing our nation’s recycling and composting infrastructure. I appreciate Chairman Carper and Ranking Member Capito’s leadership championing solutions to expand opportunities to be better stewards of our environment. I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass these commonsense measures that will also benefit the economy and create jobs,” Senator Boozman said.


The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act would establish a pilot recycling program at the EPA. This program would award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities for improving recycling accessibility in a community or communities within the same geographic area. The goal of the program is to fund eligible projects that would significantly improve access to recycling systems in underserved communities through the use of a hub-and-spoke model for recycling infrastructure development.

Full text of the bill is available here and a summary is available here.


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 publish 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 improving existing recycling and composting programs and evaluating future recycling policies.

Full text of the bill is available here and a summary is available here.

Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s floor speech from April.

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