At a meeting in Washington, D.C., this week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler addressed members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) to discuss key issues related to the waste and recycling industry.
“Administrator Wheeler is a strong advocate of recycling and has been instrumental in seeking ways to help the industry,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, in a statement. “His work convening a forum on America Recycles Day last year brought together stakeholders from throughout the recycling chain to address some of the challenges and opportunities we face. ISRI was proud to be a part of that meeting and is looking forward to expanding these efforts this year. Having an open dialogue today with our members, hearing their feedback and answering questions demonstrates Administrator Wheeler’s commitment to recycling.”
The meeting, which was open to all ISRI members, coincided with the organization’s annual Congressional Fly-In. ISRI members conducted more than 100 meetings on Capitol Hill to educate members of Congress and staff on the economic and environmental benefits of the industry, the importance of free trade, transportation issues and other advocacy needs.
Excerpts from Administrator Wheeler’s comments at the meeting are as follows:
“Thank you [ISRI] for signing the Mercury Switch Recovery MOU. The MOU extends the program until 2021, and we hope it will continue long after that. The program recently removed the seventh million mercury switch. Not only does this help industrial recyclers recover steel, but this also means that nearly 8 tons of mercury has been prevented from entering the atmosphere.”
“The iron and steel industries have made tremendous advancements through improved recycling and resource efficiency. Today, steel produced in electric arc furnaces is more than 95 percent recycled. The industry’s emphasis on recycling is one of the reasons why iron and steel manufacturing have become significantly cleaner and more efficient over the past several decades. We’ve seen this across other sectors as well. More and more industries are using recycled materials. It’s better for the environment, and it’s better for your bottom line.”
“More than 40 key industry stakeholders, including ISRI, signed a pledge to work with EPA and others to address what we see as the four major challenges: public education, materials management infrastructure, developing secondary markets and measurement methodologies. ISRI was a significant contributor in the development of this pledge and remains a prominent voice in these efforts.”