WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), together with Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the EPW Committee and Co-Chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus, last week led the Senate to pass the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act and the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act by unanimous consent. 

Senators Capito and Carper introduced the bipartisan bills earlier this year, along with Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.), Co-Chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus and member of the EPW Committee.

“Our recycling system provides millions of Americans the opportunity to both protect the environment and contribute to the economy,” Ranking Member Capito said. “However, a lack of infrastructure—especially in rural America—often hinders communities’ access to recycling. These bills will help address this issue and encourage more recycling across the country. Additionally, these are the latest examples of quality, bipartisan work products coming out of the EPW Committee, and I was proud to help move them across the finish line in the Senate. This bipartisan work is a testament to the genuine partnership Chairman Carper and I share, and I look forward to continuing our important work together on future legislation.”

“With a national recycling rate of less than 35 percent, it’s clear we must do more when it comes to improving our nation’s recycling and composting efforts,” Chairman Carper said. “Fortunately, in passing this legislation, we are one step closer to enacting solutions that are good for our planet and our economy. Both of these bills are the result of true collaboration and reflect a bipartisan commitment to addressing our nation’s recycling and composting challenges. I thank Senator Capito and Senator Boozman for being such excellent partners in this effort, and I look forward to working with our colleagues in the House to pass these commonsense measures.”


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.

Bill text 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 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.

Bill text is available here and a summary is available here

# # #