Reduce Reuse Recycle
RECYCLE Act Signed into Law
as Part of Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Legislation
November 15, 2021 | Press Releases
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced that their bipartisan RECYCLE Act was signed into law as part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The IIJA recently passed the House in a vote of 228-206, having previously passed the Senate in August in a vote of 69-30. The RECYCLE Act authorizes a new federal grant program through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help educate households and consumers about their residential and community recycling programs. The bipartisan infrastructure package also fully funds the RECYCLE Act at $15 million per year for five years.
Reports indicate consumer confusion on how to properly recycle is one of the top recycling challenges. According to the EPA, the recycling rate in the U.S. is 32.1 percent, which presents a significant opportunity to improve our nation’s recycling systems. Through education and outreach, the RECYCLE Act will help increase recycling rates and reduce contamination in the recycling stream.
The RECYCLE Act would:
Authorize $15 million/year over five years in grants to states, local governments, Indian tribes, nonprofits, and public private partnerships to educate and inform consumers and households about their residential and community recycling programs.
Direct EPA to develop a model recycling program toolkit for states, local governments, Indian tribes, and partners to deploy in order to improve recycling rates and decrease contamination in the recycling stream.
Require EPA to more frequently review and revise, if appropriate, its Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines, which designate products containing recycled materials and provides recommended practices for federal agencies to purchase such products.
Recycling offers numerous benefits, including diverting materials from landfills, using less energy to reprocess recycled material, which reduces emissions, and supporting the economy. EPA’s 2020 Recycling Economic Information (REI) Report found that recycling supports more than 681,000 jobs and generates $5.5 billion annually in tax revenues.