SWANA endorses RISE Act, but suggests amendments

In a letter sent to U.S. Senator James Jeffords, I-VT, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) announced its support for the Recycling Investment Saves Energy (RISE) Act, but urged that Jeffords’ bill be revised to include financial incentives targeted at local governments and to broaden the bill’s scope to include composting equipment.

“The ability to finance recycling programs plays an integral role in meeting waste reduction and recovery goals,” wrote SWANA Executive Director and CEO, John H. Skinner, Ph.D., in the letter. “We believe financial incentives should be extended to all members of the recycling community and incentives created for the recycling of a range of materials that would otherwise be sent for disposal.”

Those materials include compostable solids, which make up nearly a third of the waste stream but are recycled at a rate of less than 10 percent, well below the rate of recyclables currently eligible for financial incentives under RISE.

In addition, the act’s accelerated depreciation provisions provide no financial incentive to recycling programs operated by municipalities and other governmental organizations that do not pay federal income tax. In the letter, SWANA suggests instead that equipment suppliers get the tax credits or accelerated depreciation, lowering the cost of equipment for the agencies that use it.