Resource Recycling News

Federal recycling bills reintroduced

U.S. Capitol with reflecting pond in foreground.

The bills enjoy support from multiple industry groups and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. | SF/Shutterstock

Two bills dealing with the nation’s recycling and composting infrastructure have been reintroduced to Congress for a second year, drawing praise from several industry organizations. 

The Recycling and Composting Accountability Act and the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2023 were reintroduced on bipartisan lines by Democratic Senator Tom Carper, Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Republican Senator John Boozman. 

Last year, both bills passed the Senate and companion legislation was introduced in the House, but did not pass through it.  

The Recycling and Composting Accountability Act would improve the U.S EPA’s ability to gather data on current recycling systems and explore ideas for a national composting strategy. The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2023 would create a pilot program to improve recycling services in underserved areas using a grant system focused on hub-and-spoke projects in similar geographic areas. 

Carper noted that “most Americans want to recycle, recognizing that it helps reduce pollution and waste in their communities and supports economic opportunity and job creation,” but the nation’s average recycling rate of 30% shows there is a long way to go

Capito called the bills common-sense ways to improve the economy and environment and Boozman added that he hopes “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.” 

The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) has been working with the legislators on the bills for over a year and half, a press release noted. NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith called them “integral to advancing America’s domestic recycling infrastructure and capabilities.” 

The Plastics Industry Association also spoke in favor of the bills, with President and CEO Matt Seaholm stating in a press release that “we need to recycle more, period, and these bipartisan bills will help us achieve that goal.” 

“Improving the country’s recycling infrastructure is paramount to increasing our recycling rates for all materials and ensures we keep waste in the circular economy and out of landfills,” Seaholm added. 

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