WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the EPW Committee, and John Boozman (R-Ark.), also a member of the EPW Committee, today reintroduced two pieces of bipartisan legislation focused on improving our nation’s recycling and composting systems.
The Recycling and Composting Accountability Act 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. The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2023 would allow EPA to create a pilot program to improve recycling services in underserved areas. Last Congress, Carper, Capito and Boozman led the Senate to pass both bills by unanimous consent.
“Most Americans want to recycle, recognizing that it helps reduce pollution and waste in their communities and supports economic opportunity and job creation,” said Chairman Carper, co-chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus. “Yet, with a national recycling rate of little more than 30 percent, it’s clear we can and must do better. Our bipartisan legislation would help address several of the challenges facing our nation’s recycling and composting efforts, improving access to these services and the availability of sound data. I am pleased to reintroduce these bipartisan bills with Senators Capito and Boozman, and I look forward to hopefully moving our legislation across the finish line this Congress.”
“Making it easier for more people to recycle, especially in rural states like West Virginia, is not only good for the environment, but it’s good for our economy,” said Ranking Member Capito. “These bills would implement commonsense policies and programs to improve access to recycling across the country, and create good-paying jobs in our communities. The EPW Committee continues to deliver bipartisan solutions on a range of issues, and I appreciate Chairman Carper and Senator Boozman for once again working together as we lay the foundation for increased recycling and composting in the future.”
“Recycling is critical to reducing waste while also helping create jobs and driving innovation. These legislative initiatives improve recycling capabilities in our communities and expand opportunities for recycling and composting in rural, underserved areas. I’m hopeful we can continue to build on the momentum from last Congress and send these bills to the president’s desk to be signed into law so we can leverage the economic and environmental benefits of recycling,” said Senator Boozman, co-chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus.
RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING ACCOUNTABILITY ACT:
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.
RECYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE AND ACCESSIBILITY ACT:
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.