Arizona is the latest state to adopt a resolution recognizing and commending the recycling industry and its workers, joining Massachusetts, AlabamaGeorgia, Indiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Texas.

On April 12, Arizona’s state house read out a proclamation recognizing and commending the value of recycling to the state and the essential nature of Arizona’s recycling workers. According to the proclamation, the industry has performed “and continues to perform in an exemplary and critically necessary manner as essential businesses and essential employees necessary to produce and manufacture goods and products in Arizona.”

The bill was drafted as a concurrent resolution and read as a proclamation into the legislative record. Senator David Gowan read the proclamation in the senate and Representative Frank Carroll read it in the house. Both chambers expressed their shared agreement in the industry’s significant efforts to ensure the state’s manufacturing and recycling industry during the pandemic.

“I am proud to acknowledge the significant role Arizona’s recycling industry played in ensuring that despite the unique circumstances of the pandemic, business as usual was conducted to the betterment of our state,” says Representative Carroll. “The industry and the individuals in that industry kept Arizona and its citizens on track during a public health crisis and performed their function seamlessly in these critical areas as the state dealt with all the issues of the pandemic.”

“Along with our frontline healthcare workers and first responders, the recycling and waste hauling industry representatives truly answered the call and rose to the occasion during this public health crisis,” says Senator David Gowan. “As a legislature, we wanted to acknowledge the critical role that industry played in ensuring the state’s manufacturing process and recycling industry performed seamlessly during the unprecedented circumstances wrought by the pandemic and celebrate their critical role during the public health crisis.”

ISRI and its members are excited to see nine states adopt resolutions commending the recycling industry, especially during an active legislative session. “When policy issues arise, our state advocates and lobbyists need to be able to switch gears quickly to address priority matters, so seeing nine states adopt the resolution already is an impressive display of ISRI’s state grassroots,” says Danielle Waterfield, ISRI’s chief policy officer and assistant general counsel.

Though the resolution process differs from state to state, Arizona’s proclamation, like the other states’ resolutions, commends the essential role of recycled commodities—including steel, paper, electronics, aluminum, plastics, textiles, tires, and glass—in supplying manufacturers during the pandemic and in their use as feedstock for vital products like hospital gowns, toilet paper, and respirators. It also recognizes recyclers’ role in supplying used auto parts, allowing drivers to access affordable repairs and maintain reliable transportation.

“The recycling industry is critical to the manufacturing industry,” says Jeff Farano, corporate counsel at SA Recycling and president of the Arizona Recyclers Association. Farano led the proclamation effort in the state, and state lobbyist Nick Simonetta helped move it through the Arizona legislature.

Though the proclamation is non-binding, its significance to the industry is clear. “The legislative body is publically recognizing the value of recycling in the state and the essential nature of the workers,” says Waterfield. The proclamation highlights the valuable role of recycled metal, which doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves, says Farano. “This proclamation is important to the industry as the government continues setting policy and adopting regulations,” he adds.

Recyclers across the country continue working with their representatives to adopt resolutions recognizing the recycling industry and its workers.

Photo is from Wikimedia Commons.

Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah is a Writer & Editor for ISRI's Scrap News. She's interested in a wide range of topics in the recycling industry and is always eager to learn more. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in History and a minored in Creative Writing. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband.