Joyce’s legislation aims to expand recycling by clearing up policy confusion


U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) recently unveiled bipartisan legislation that would require the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a consumer recycling education and outreach grant program.

“Recycling is critical to keeping northeast Ohio and its natural resources, like Lake Erie, free of plastic and other types of pollution,” Rep. Joyce said on March 2. “However, between ever-evolving rules and so many different materials to sort through, nearly a third of all items that are recycled end up in landfills.”

Rep. Joyce on Feb. 13 cosponsored the Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education (RECYCLE) Act of 2020, H.R. 5906, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) to ramp up community outreach, awareness and education around recycling.

“I’m proud to introduce the RECYCLE Act with Rep. Phillips to help households understand how to avoid contamination that often causes recyclable materials to end up in the landfill and invest in recycling programs that are successfully keeping our communities clean,” said Rep. Joyce.

If enacted, H.R. 5906 would authorize $15 million in grants per year over five years 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, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Joyce’s office.

The bill also would direct the EPA to develop a model recycling program toolkit for states, local governments, Indian tribes, and partners to improve recycling rates and decrease contamination in the recycling stream, and would require the EPA to more frequently review and revise its Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for federal agencies to purchase more recycled products.

H.R. 5906 is supported by numerous organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the Solid Waste Association of North America, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the American Beverage Association, the American Chemistry Council, the Paper Recycling Coalition, the Plastics Industry Association, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, among many others.

The measure is under consideration by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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