Arlington, VA National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) Chairman Ben Harvey testifies today before the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee at its HearTo examine legislative proposals for improving domestic recycling and composting programs, especially in rural areas.
We are happy to have the opportunity testify before Senate EPW Committee and present industry’s perspective regarding improving recycling infrastructure and accessibility to rural communities, said Darrell Smith, President and CEO of NWRA. We support a program that allows rural communities to access the global recycling markets.
Ensure that everyone has access to recycling across the country. This will ensure equity and sustainable materials management. Rural areas are often left behind because they face unique challenges when it comes to recycling and accessing markets.
Harvey stated that rural recycling can be accomplished using the hub-and-spoke model. This creates consolidation hubs to service the spokes leading to small communities. These recycling hubs, also known as transfer stations, are places where smaller truckloads can be consolidated into larger truckloads that can then be transferred to processing facilities.
Hub and spoke systems improve transportation efficiency and reduce costs. It makes recycling more accessible and lowers costs in rural areas.
The Recycling and Composting Accountability Bill was also supported by the NWRA. The legislation would allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to collect certain data about recycling and composting. While cardboard and paper have always been the largest components of recyclables, this has changed dramatically with newspapers now being only a third of their 2005 value and cardboard boxes coming from households increasing in number due to the Amazon effect. The largest portion of landfill is now made up of food waste, and the amount of clothing that is disposed of has doubled in the past twenty years.
Harvey stated, “Whatever we do, however needs to be undergirded by good data.” The methods of recycling, composting and composing waste have changed over time. Good data is crucial for me as a businessman.
The NWRA has supported legislative efforts to increase recycling education funding and encourage domestic recycling infrastructure investments. Recently, NWRA worked closely alongside staff and lawmakers to ensure that legislative priorities such the RECYCLE Act were included within the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by the President last year. The RECYCLEAct was designed to increase the quality and quantity recycled materials. The bill created a program to educate and grant money to consumers for recycling education and outreach within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This was done in an effort clean up America’s recycling streams.
The private sector waste and recycling industry is represented by the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA). Association members are companies that manage waste, medical waste, recycling, and medical waste. They also include equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety other service providers. For more information on the NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.