Let’s face it; recycling is a complicated and expensive process to successfully implement. Many places across the United States do not have the resources to manage an efficient recycling program or even establish one at all. With many places struggling to decrease their environmental impact, congress is introducing new legislation to ease the burden on small governments of a transition to providing recycling infrastructure. Bill S. 3472 was introduced in early March of 2022 and drives to establish a grant program for eligible communities to either set up or significantly improve their recycling facilities and community outreach. This bill passed the Senate in late July of 2022, and is headed to the House for a second look soon.
The grant program created by Bill S. 3472- the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2022- would be administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA administrator would determine which communities will receive funding based on a competitive application process. States, local governments, Indian Tribes (25 U.S.C. 5304), and public-private partnerships would all be eligible to apply. The program administrator at the EPA would consider the unique situations of each community and weigh applications based on the likely public benefit created by each program. However, priority would be given to locations that are at least 75 miles from the nearest Materials Recovery Facility (MRF for short). This priority should allow the communities most in-need of recycling access to get a jump start on starting/improving their projects. The allocated grant money for the community must be used towards increasing the number of transfer stations, expanding curbside recycling where appropriate, or for leveraging public-private partnerships to reduce costs with collecting and transporting material. However, money cannot be used for recycling education programs. The amount provided by the government to the community would be between $500,000 and $15,000,000. Overall, this legislation could successfully help underserved communities grow their sustainability efforts. We hope this bill will pass in the coming year and start helping communities in need!
With CIRT, recycling is made easier. Residents in locations with new recycling programs may find it difficult to know where and when something is recyclable. With the help of CIRT’s spatially and temporally up-to-date database of recycling programs, consumers will be able to know if a product is recyclable with the click of a button. This makes it easier for companies selling products as well as the communities where those products are purchased to reduce their environmental impact and avoid recycling confusion and contamination.
Carper, S. (n.d.). Text - S.3742 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2022. Congress.gov. Retrieved August 19, 2022, from https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/3742/text
Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2022 (S. 3742). (n.d.). GovTrack.us. Retrieved August 19, 2022, from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/s3742