The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its framework to tackle the nation’s recycling problems. Following the 2018 America Recycles Summit, EPA worked with the 45 organizations that signed the America Recycles Pledge to form workgroups that align with four action areas:
- Promote Education and Outreach
- Enhance Materials Management Infrastructure
- Strengthen Secondary Material Markets
- Enhance Measurement
The workgroups initiated their meetings in January 2019. Over the subsequent few months, each workgroup identified a vision statement, as well as challenges, opportunities and potential actions within each action area. This summer, the workgroups will focus on initiating implementation of the priority actions identified and evaluating the potential additional ideas for action.
EPA's potential actions to advance the nation's recycling system include:
- Developing a concept for a limited pilot to test an educational campaign on how to decrease the amount of plastic film entering curbside collection programs by encouraging recycling through retail collection programs (for example, bins at retail outlets and grocery stores).
- Exploring opportunities with America Recycles workgroup members to host regional and state market development workshops to help bridge connections with economic development organizations.
- Updating EPA’s tool to calculate emissions reductions associated with the use of recycled content material.
- Developing a Federal Register notice to solicit public comments on the current requirements for recycled content products purchased by federal agencies.
- Updating EPA’s “Measuring Recycling: A Guide for State and Local Governments.”
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) released the following statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Status Report: Framework for Advancing the U.S. Recycling System.”
“We appreciate EPA’s efforts to address national recycling issues. Our member companies work hard every day to help customers to recycle smarter to reduce contamination in the recycling stream. NWRA is encouraged by the regional and state market development workshops.
We support incentives to encourage the growth of domestic recycling as we also assist our member companies’ efforts to expand existing markets and grow new ones for their services and recyclables. NWRA looks forward to working with the EPA on this initiative,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith in a statement.
NWRA was a participant in the 2018 America Recycles Day summit and is working with the EPA on events for America Recycles Day this fall.