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Waste and Recycling Industry Backs $400 Million Infrastructure Bill

Waste and Recycling Industry Backs $400 Million Infrastructure Bill
(Photo: Recycling bins in Cupertino, California. Credit: Peter Kaminski, Flickr Creative Commons)

Major organizations representing the American waste and recycling industry have put their support behind a new bipartisan bill that would provide $500 million in federal funding for recycling infrastructure.

The legislation — the Realizing the Economic Opportunities and Value of Expanding Recycling Act or the RECOVER Act for short — was recently introduced by Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-California) and Larry Bucshon (R-Indiana), E.A. Crunden reported in Waste Dive.

“The bill, H.R. 5115, would allocate $500 million in matching federal funds for states, municipalities, and tribes,” Crunden wrote. “That money is meant to improve various aspects of collection and processing infrastructure, ranging from curbside equipment to drop-off sites and MRFs.”

Specifically, the federal effort aims to expand recycling access and the collection of recyclable materials to underserved areas, modernize existing technology, enhance curbside recycling and other collection, and reduce the contamination of recyclable materials.

As Waste Dive pointed out, the bill has support from organizations that include the American Chemistry Council, Ameripen, the Association of Plastic Recyclers, the Plastics Industry Association, the National Waste & Recycling Association, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and Solid Waste Management Association of North America (SWANA).

SWANA, a nonprofit association representing more than 10,000 waste and recycling professionals in the United States and Canada, sent a letter to the federal government earlier this year expressing support for the RECOVER Act.

“China’s imposition of import restrictions on recyclables has significantly challenged many recycling programs over the past year,” the letter said. “Recycling has changed and it has become more challenging, but recycling has become no less important.” The association urged the EPA to support the legislation when introduced, saying it would help expand domestic markets.

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