WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the EPW Committee, and John Boozman (R-Ark.), also a member of the EPW Committee, today highlighted the growing support for their Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act. Specifically, more than 20 groups—of leading industry and environmental groups alike—expressed support for the legislation, which would establish a pilot rural recycling program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The senators introduced the legislation last month.

Click here to read the bill text and click here to read the one-pager.

WHAT STAKEHOLDERS ARE SAYING:

 

Brent Bell, Vice President of Recycling Operations, Waste Management (WM):

 

“WM supports this thoughtful approach to investing in recycling in rural America. Grants for hub-and spoke-recycling infrastructure will allow for proven solutions to help increase recycling accessibility in areas with a greater need.”

 

Darrell Smith, President & CEO, National Waste and Recycling Association:

 

“The National Waste & Recycling Association fully supports the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act, sponsored by Senator Capito, Senator Carper, and Senator Boozman. This bill aims to address the important issue of improving rural recycling accessibility. The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act is integral to advancing America’s domestic recycling infrastructure and capabilities at a critical time when supply chain shortages are demonstrating the need for greater self-sufficiency.”

 

David Biderman, Executive Director & CEO, Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA):

 

“SWANA supports the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act. Recycling creates jobs, is good for the environment, and preserves landfill space for future generations. We look forward to working with Senators Capito, Carper, Boozman, and others on this important bill, and getting funding appropriated for the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act.”

 

Marty Durbin, Senior Vice President of Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

 

“The U.S. Chamber is pleased to support the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act. We commend Senators Carper, Capito and Boozman for their leadership in seeking to increase access to recycling programs and the infrastructure required in underserved communities across the nation. This legislation will help unlock public-private partnerships that can offer innovative, circular solutions to this important challenge.”

 

Tony Radoszewski, President & CEO, Plastics Industry Association:

 

“Expanding access to recycling is essential to achieving a more circular economy and investments in infrastructure like that which would be established under the RIAA is a great part of the solution. We applaud Senator Capito’s and Senator Carper’s leadership on the recycling issue and will continue working with Congress to increase recycling rates across America through these types of measures.”

 

Joshua Baca, Vice President of Plastics, American Chemistry Council:

 

“The American Chemistry Council applauds Senators Capito, Carper and Boozman for their continued leadership to improve national recycling. The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (RIAA) will increase access, collection and recyclability of post-consumer goods, including hard to recycle plastics, by funding grant programs for recycling infrastructure prioritized to communities with no current access to recycling. In other words, the RIAA has the potential to significantly move the needle towards a more circular economy for plastics.”

 

Katherine Lugar, President & CEO, American Beverage Association:

 

“The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act is a critical step in making recycling programs more accessible to Americans in underserved communities. We applaud Senator Capito’s leadership on strengthening our nation’s infrastructure and driving solutions that will help achieve a circular economy for recyclable packaging, and particularly for our 100% recyclable bottles and cans.”

 

Chris Cerone, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Novelis:

 

“Expanding recycling access through the creation of public-private partnerships in underserved recycling communities is good for the environment and the economy. As the world’s largest recycler of aluminum, Novelis appreciates Senator Capito’s proactive approach to this challenge. The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act will serve as a catalyst for additional policies that advance American recycling and expand the circular economy. We fully support this legislation and look forward to being a strong partner as it progresses.”

 

John Hayes, Chairman & CEO, Ball Corporation:

 

“We commend Senators Capito, Carper, and Boozman for introducing the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act.  Access to recycling, especially for underserved communities, is critically important and is key to increasing the overall recycling rate in the United States and will generate meaningful economic and environmental benefits. We encourage the Senate to take up and pass this important piece of bipartisan legislation.”

 

Eric Steiner, Vice President of Government Affairs, American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA):

 

“AF&PA supports the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (RIAA). The RIAA will improve recycling accessibility in communities, including historically underserved communities. Two-thirds of paper used in the U.S. was recycled in 2020, including nearly 89 percent of all cardboard boxes and corrugated containers. The paper and wood products industry is a leader in recycling and has planned or announced approximately $5 billion in manufacturing infrastructure investments from 2019-2023 to continue the best use of recycled fiber in our products. The RIAA will help our industry further our recycling goals.”

 

Alison Keane, President & CEO, Flexible Packaging Association (FPA):

 

“FPA supports federal policy for investment in recycling, especially efforts to expand existing recycling programs both in access and in materials collected for circularity. Stabilizing existing recycling and composting programs and collecting data to inform policies to improve and modernize the U.S. recycling system is critical to ensure a pathway for all materials, including flexible packaging.”

 

Commissioner Jason Brune, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation:

 

“Recycling is difficult and expensive for Alaska’s remote, rural communities where the sole modes of transportation are often via boat or small aircraft. The grants provided under the RIAA would help develop recycling programs in rural Alaska, safely collecting and transporting recyclable waste, which in turn helps protect public health and the local environment. Operating landfills in these communities is also very expensive, so recycling programs would have the added benefit of helping lower solid waste expenses for a community while boosting local economies through job creation.”

 

Kenneth T. Lane, Interim CEO, LyondellBasell:

 

“Increasing recycling infrastructure and the accessibility of plastic waste for use as feedstock in the recycling process is a key part of the solution to end plastic waste in the environment. We must collaborate amongst industry, policymakers, and all parts of society to achieve our collective circularity goals. We applaud Senators Capito, Carper, and Boozman for their dedication to help solve this challenge and introduction of the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act.”

 

Matanya Horowitz, CEO of AMP Robotics:

 

“AMP Robotics supports the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2022, and we look forward to working with Senator Capito and all stakeholders on this legislation. RIAA is a step in the right direction that will improve America’s recycling infrastructure and will encourage recycling in underserved areas. AMP Robotics’ innovative technology leverages the power of artificial intelligence to greatly improve efficiency and resiliency, and we share the passion of those in Congress who are working to increase the nation’s recycling rates and move us closer to a world without waste.”

 

Kate M. Krebs, Director, External Affairs, Closed Loop Partners:

 

“Today, many states have little if any recycling infrastructure in place; in particular rural, small town areas across the United States. The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act would provide federal grants to help build grassroots recycling tailored for sparsely populated regions, leveraging private sector investment to increase the recovery of valuable materials needed to grow the circular economy.”

 

Scott DeFife, President, Glass Packaging Institute (GPI):

 

“GPI strongly supports the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2022, an important piece of legislation that provides direct funding to establish and enhance rural recycling programs, through a hub and spoke model. Glass, a 100 percent and endlessly recyclable circular package, is ideal for these dedicated collection efforts, as they provide an excellent opportunity to ensure separation and value back to manufacturing end markets.”

 

Catherine A. Trinkle, Deputy General Counsel, Regulatory & Environmental Law and Head of Government Affairs, BASF Corporation:

 

“BASF applauds Senator Capito’s efforts to expand recycling access to underserved communities that may not have curbside recycling programs or local materials recovery facilities. Recycling accessibility is a key component to strengthening our nation’s waste management system, ensuring materials are recoverable and supporting a circular economy. We look forward to working with Senator Capito on this bill to help build robust recycling infrastructure nationwide.”

 

Kevin Kolevar, Vice President for Global Policy and Government Affairs, Dow:

 

“Dow strongly supports the bipartisan Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act which seeks to improve accessibility to recycling systems through investments in underserved communities. According to The Recycling Partnership’s 2021 ‘Paying it Forward’ report, 7 in 10 single-family residents that live in a multifamily property or rural community lack equitable recycling access, and we want to thank Senator Capito for putting a spotlight on these under-supported and under-served communities.”

 

Charles Johnson, President & CEO, Aluminum Association:

 

“Recycling is absolutely essential to the U.S. aluminum industry – from both an economic and environmental perspective. In fact, around 80% of aluminum made in the United States today is recycled – which eliminates 95% of the energy and carbon impact compared with making new aluminum. And yet, each year some $800 million worth of used aluminum beverage cans end up in landfills. Our industry strongly supports efforts, such as the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act program, which aim to increase consumer recycling of all kinds – particularly in communities that are currently underserved by such programs.”

 

Billy Johnson, Chief Lobbyist, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI):

 

“The members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries applauds Senator Capito’s introduction of the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act that represents the first substantial attempt to address the shortcomings of recycling for rural and underserved communities in the United States through innovative pilot projects and effective funding mechanisms to better serve these communities.”

Joe Doss, President, International Bottled Water Association:

 

“The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) supports the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act, which would create a pilot program to help fund recycling programs in underserved areas. We believe this bill will help boost recycling rates around the country and divert items from landfills. Recycled plastic is in high demand as bottled water companies continue to reduce their environmental footprint by using more recycled plastic in their product containers.”

 

Scott Barbour, CEO, Advanced Drainage Systems:

 

“As the second largest plastics recycler in North America, Advanced Drainage Systems is deeply committed to recycling and the manufacture of sustainable stormwater management products. We strongly support the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (RIAA) as a key catalyst for increasing recycling in underserved communities which will foster circularity, create jobs, conserve natural resources, and protect our environment.”

 

Terese Colling, President, Paper Recycling Coalition:

 

“The Paper Recycling Coalition is pleased to support the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act. Providing financial assistance to communities to improve and expand recycling access is an important tool toward increasing recycling rates and ensuring all communities have access to recycling collection programs. We commend Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Capito, and Senator Boozman for their efforts on this bill and their continued dedication to recycling.”

 

Sal Coniglio, Chief Executive Officer, Recology Inc.:

 

“Recology applauds the introduction of the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (RIAA) and is encouraged by the increased activity in advancing recycling and resource recovery legislation. The RIAA is an additional thoughtful step toward meeting the Environmental Protection Agency's National Recycling Strategy goal of building a circular economy. As an organization with the mission of eliminating waste by developing and discovering sustainable resource recovery practices that can be implemented in local communities, we support the RIAA as it will create or enhance access to recycling systems in underserved communities throughout the country.”

This industry press release was published by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.