The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for holding a hearing on “Strengthening Community Recycling Programs: Challenges and Opportunities.”
The February 5 hearing held by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies was a timely and necessary exploration of the current state of recycling in the nation, and what role the federal government can play in helping communities and citizens adapt to changing markets.
Witnesses called to speak at the event included Peter Wright, assistant administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Daniel Corona, mayor of West Wendover, Nev.; Michael Gajewski, managing director for Closed Loop Partners; Elizabeth Biser, vice president of public affairs for The Recycling Partnership; and Adam Ortiz, director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection in Maryland.
“We are pleased that Congress is exploring a greater federal role to help strengthen local recycling programs,” said David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO, in a statement. “While EPA did a heroic job convening a diverse group of stakeholders over the past year to develop the National Framework for Advancing the U.S. Recycling System, which was released in November 2019, further federal assistance and coordination is needed.”
As the House seeks options for supporting community recycling programs, SWANA urges all representatives to pass the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act (S.1982), which has been approved by the Senate on a bipartisan vote. This legislation establishes a post-consumer materials management infrastructure grant program and trash-free water grants that will help local waste management authorities make improvements and meet waste management standards at this critical time.
In addition to supporting the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, SWANA continues to advocate for other bills that provide valuable funding for community recycling: H.R. 5115, the Realizing the Economic Opportunities and Values of Expanding Recycling (RECOVER) Act, and S. 2941, the Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education (RECYCLE) Act. The bills were introduced in the House and Senate, respectively, in November 2019.