US EPA backs necessity of recycling

US EPA backs necessity of recycling

Federal agency’s director cites “critical need for raw materials in the manufacturing supply chain.”

May 13, 2020

Andrew Wheeler, the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has recorded a video message encouraging all Americans to recycle materials from their households, saying recycling is “good for the planet” and it supports American manufacturing.

“Right now, there is a critical need for raw materials in the manufacturing supply chain, especially paper and cardboard,” states Wheeler. “Business closures and limited operations means less recycled material for American manufactures, and we all must do our part to recycle more and recycle right to fill this immediate need.”

A news release from the EPA states in part, “Recycled materials are used to make new products as well as the boxes that these and other essential supplies are shipped in for the everyday needs of hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies and American homes. Currently, businesses that normally recycle large amounts of paper and cardboard are not able to do that due to the impacts from the coronavirus health crisis. Because of this, household recycling is more essential than ever.”

The EPA continues, “Americans all over the country are staying home, getting more deliveries in cardboard boxes, eating at home, and generating more material than normal, much of which can be recycled.”

Beyond encouraging a larger quantity of material collected, the EPA also says it is encouraging households to “recycle correctly so the right materials are available for U.S. manufacturers.” The agency suggests Americans:

  • check with their local recycling hauler to see what materials they accept right now;
  • break down shipping and food boxes, rinse out containers and cans, keep them dry and clean, and put them in the curbside bin to be recycled; and
  • keep disinfectant wipes, gloves, masks, other personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical waste out of recycling bins.

“Recycling isn’t just good for the planet by reducing the amount of waste going to landfills and saving energy, it also supports American manufacturing,” states the agency.

Wheeler’s video message can be viewed on YouTube