NWRA applauds the efforts of the bipartisan working group of 22 senators in crafting a large-scale infrastructure agreement. In a discussion draft of the bill that has been provided to NWRA, text was included from U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) and Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Dean Phillips’ (D-MN) “Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education (RECYCLE) Act of 2021” introduced on March 23. NWRA has been supporting this legislation since before it was first introduced during the previous Congress in late 2019, working with Sen. Portman to craft the legislation.
The RECYCLE Act, contained in Sec. 50202 of the draft, aims to increase both the quality and quantity of recycled materials. The bill would establish a consumer recycling education and outreach grant program within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an effort to clean up America’s recycling stream. It also calls for the development of a Model Recycling Program Toolkit with input from the private sector. The legislation addresses federal procurement as well, establishing a set frequency for the review of the use of items containing recycled content in consultation with recyclers and manufacturers.
Additionally, Sec. 50201 of the bill sets forth best practices for battery recycling and a labeling guideline. “The waste and recycling industry is pleased that senators from both parties recognize the important role that recycling plays in America’s manufacturing supply chain,” stated NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “Inclusion of this in infrastructure legislation leaves no doubt that recycling has become an essential part of our nation’s economic growth and prosperity.”
NWRA urges Congress to keep the RECYCLE Act in the final version of the bill when it comes before both chambers and to also consider inclusion of incentives to increase private sector domestic recycling infrastructure capacity.