Recycling : ISRI applauds introduction of Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act in U.S. Senate

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The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry™, announces support of the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act introduced by U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va; Tom Carper, D-Del.; and John Boozman, R-Ark. Capito is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), Carper serves as chair, and Boozman is a committee member.

ISRI joins more than 20 industry and environmental groups that expressed support for the legislation, which establishes a pilot rural recycling program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The members of ISRI applaud Sen. Capito’s introduction of the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act. It represents the first substantial attempt to address the shortcomings of recycling for rural and underserved communities in the U.S. through innovative pilot projects and effective funding mechanisms to better serve these communities,” says Billy Johnson, ISRI’s chief lobbyist.

The bill’s pilot-program approach will provide valuable, current information about rural recycling systems that will be connected to customized solutions for all states and localities. EPA grants between $1 million and $15 million would make programs more accessible for local communities and pave the way for replication in numerous areas.

“It’s important to understand how successful the different recycling programs are before making policy decisions,” Johnson says. “Collecting data on recycling programs around the country will help legislators get the information they need to make good policy decisions.”

Additionally, the bill offers ISRI’s definitions of recycling, recyclable materials, material recycling facility and processing. “This is a first because these terms have never been properly defined in a law or regulation before,” Johnson says. “It finally puts everyone on the same page.”

ISRI recognizes the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act and the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act signal growing awareness of the vital role recycling plays in sustainability, the circular economy, and the environment. “People are now looking to recycling as one of the solutions to issues like ocean pollution, climate change, improving manufacturing efficiencies, and saving energy,” Johnson says. “Recycling is sitting in the middle of it all. It’s like lightening in a bottle for us. We’re in for a unique time for recycling.”