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October 26, 2020

EPA releases National Recycling Strategy draft

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft of its National Recycling Strategy for public input in preparation for America Recycles Week and ahead of the nation’s third annual Recycling Summit.

According to a news release from the EPA, the draft identifies strategic objectives and actions needed to create “a stronger, more resilient U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system.”

The EPA says its National Recycling Strategy draft was developed as part of its continued leadership in addressing the challenges facing the U.S. recycling system and builds on the EPA’s 2019 National Framework for Advancing the U.S. Recycling System. The EPA says its strategy organizes high-level actions around three objectives to improve the U.S. recycling system:

  • reducing contamination;
  • increasing processing efficiency; and
  • improving end markets.

The EPA has shared its National Recycling Strategy draft for public comment through Dec. 4, with the goal of finalizing it in early 2021.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, says it has submitted comments to the EPA regarding this draft. According to a news release from ISRI, the association is encouraging the EPA to incorporate systemwide recycling measures to assess recycling performance in its National Recycling Strategy draft. ISRI says the most effective measurement for the recycling system’s resiliency is gauging whether materials successfully pass through recycling and are consumed by manufacturers.

ISRI also has encouraged the EPA to focus its National Recycling Strategy on reducing contamination in the recycling stream. Additionally, ISRI has advised the EPA to include details on increasing material processing efficiency.

The National Recycling Strategy can be read and comments can be made at www.epa.gov/americarecycles/national-recycling-strategy-and-framework-advancing-us-recycling-system.