WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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, today introduced two pieces of legislation focused on recycling and composting. The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act would establish a pilot rural recycling program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act would require the EPA to collect and distribute data on recycling and composting rates across the country.
“West Virginia has the lowest recycling rate in the country—only 2%,” Ranking Member Capito said. “This isn’t for lack of interest, but rather lack of funding and inadequate access to facilities. With more sparse populations over greater areas of land, rural communities struggle to sustain proper recycling programs. This bill works to alleviate this issue and make it more financially feasible to establish recycling infrastructure in underserved areas."
“When we look at opportunities for reducing pollution and waste and creating good-paying jobs domestically, recycling is an area that unites most Americans,” said Chairman Carper. “Yet, our nation continues to recycle only about one-third of the products we consume each year, leading to more and more waste overflowing from our landfills and polluting our oceans. To address this growing problem, I’m pleased to introduce a pair of bipartisan bills with Senators Capito and Boozman that would help strengthen our nation’s recycling and composting efforts. Our legislation would improve data collection for our nation’s recycling systems, explore opportunities for a national composting strategy, and expand recycling access in underserved communities. These commonsense solutions will move us closer to creating a more sustainable, circular economy and leaving behind a livable planet for future generations, which we all want."
“Recycling helps reduce waste heading to landfills while also creating jobs and driving innovation. These initiatives expand opportunities to families and businesses in rural, underserved areas so they can play an active role in preserving our resources and improve our nation’s recycling and composting capabilities. I’m pleased to support these legislative efforts so we can leverage the economic and environmental benefits of recycling,” Senator Boozman, co-chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus, said.
RECYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE AND ACCESSIBILITY ACT:
The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act is legislation that would establish a pilot rural recycling program at the EPA. This pilot program would award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to improve recycling accessibility in a community or communities within the same geographic area. The goal of the program is to fund eligible projects that will significantly improve accessibility to recycling systems in underserved communities through the use of a hub-and-spoke model for recycling infrastructure development.
Click here to read the bill text and click here to read the one-pager.
RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING ACCOUNTABILITY ACT:
The Recycling and Composting Accountability Act requires EPA to collect and distribute data on recycling and composting rates across the country to provide an accurate reflection of performance both nationwide and on the state-level. This information is critical to helping evaluate how to further improve and to inform future recycling policies.
Click here to read the bill text.
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