Bipartisan Recycling and Composting Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate

Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Tom Carper (D - DE) and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R - WV), along with John Boozman (R - AR) on March 3, 2022, introduced a bipartisan pair of bills aimed at strengthening recycling and composting efforts. The Recycling and Composting Accountability Act would require the EPA to collect, and publish publicly, data on recycling and composting rates around the nation to offer an accurate breakdown of state and nationwide recycling and composting rates and to use the data to encourage higher participation rates.

Concurrently, the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act would formally establish a pilot recycling program at the EPA, which would be tasked with awarding grants to eligible entities which demonstrate an improvement in recycling accessibility in areas currently suffering from lack of access to recycling systems. Grants would be awarded on a competitive basis and would be published on EPA’s website.

These two pieces of legislation undoubtedly seek to build on the momentum set forth when the EPA, in November 2021, announced a first-ever national recycling strategy, aimed at increasing the national recycling participation rate to 50% by the year 2030. As public works professionals are responsible for operating and managing the myriad web of recycling systems around the nation, APWA looks forward to closely monitoring recycling-related legislation. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to APWA Government Affairs Associate Jeff Finegan at or 202-218-6728.