ISRI-Authored RECYCLE Act an Essential Component of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

On Tuesday, Aug. 10, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The $1.2 trillion Act includes the funds needed to fix and upgrade our nation’s roads and bridges, freight and passenger railways, ports & waterways, broadband, and invest in environmentally sustainable energy. Importantly, it also includes the RECYCLE Act, of which ISRI was a lead architect.

Recycling is an essential part of the infrastructure of the United States. It is becoming more essential as we move as a nation – and a global community – towards a circular economy in an effort to preserve our planet’s finite natural resources and address climate change through reduced greenhouse gas emissions. It is for this reason that ISRI supports these investments to rebuild our country’s aging infrastructure and provide for a modern 21st-century transportation system that will allow us to efficiently transport raw materials and feedstocks to manufacturers throughout the nation and the globe, using all modes of transportation, covering rail, surface, and waterways.

I am excited to see the progress made at moving us closer to much needed infrastructure investments. I am especially happy to see that the Senate included the RECYCLE Act as an integral part of the infrastructure package. The RECYCLE Act addresses one of the most persistent problems when it comes to residential recycling: knowing what does –and does not – go into the recycling bin. Appropriating $75 million in funds for EPA to distribute to states, tribes and other organizations for consumer education will lead to increased recycling awareness, reduced contamination in the residential recycling stream and increased volumes of higher quality recyclables for processing into new manufactured products.

Under the RECYCLE Act, EPA is also required to develop a model recycling program toolkit and to review its Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. These guidelines designate products containing recycled materials and recommends that federal agencies buy those products, another proven strategy for increasing recycling and strengthening the circular economy. ISRI is grateful to Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) on his leadership and for working with us on the development of the RECYCLE Act. We are also grateful to all the Republican and Democratic Senators who worked together in the best interests of all Americans to bring to passage the very important and much needed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

ISRI will continue to advocate on behalf of the recycling industry and work to advance priorities that highlight the essential role of recycling in our daily lives.