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Transforming Recycling: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law & the EPA

On June 8, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $375 million investment in recycling, reuse, and waste prevention programs. As stated from the EPA website itself, this is the largest investment in recycling in 30 years.


Let’s take a closer look at where this money came from, what it’s going to be used for, and how our communities can have a direct impact on its usage.


Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act)

President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law on November 15, 2021. This infrastructure bill includes massive investment in many factions of our infrastructure, which includes: roads, water, internet, climate, and the environment.

Here’s a breakdown of how the funding will be distributed across different industries. The data is provided by the National Association of Counties (NACO).





Waste and Recycling

It is widely acknowledged that the recycling infrastructure as it exists today is inefficient. This is why, of the funding that will be directed to the EPA, $350 million will be dedicated to solid waste and recycling grants. According to the EPA, this investment

will transform recycling and solid waste management across the country while creating jobs.

Breakdown of Waste & Recycling Funding


As part of this investment, the EPA is looking to not only change how we recycle, but to also educate communities about recycling as well. This includes grants for education and outreach programs as well as the development of a recycling toolkit program and guidelines for teaching recycling in schools.


Since we are still in the early stages of these initiatives, the EPA has published three Requests for Information that are open to public comments. To view the public dockets and leave your comments, please visit the links below:


Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Program (open to comments until July 25, 2022)

Recycling Education and Outreach (open to comments until July 25, 2022)

Development of Best Practices for Collection of Batteries to be Recycled (open to comments until July 11, 2022)


As citizens who are concerned about our communities, and who are dedicated to lifelong sustainability, we have a unique opportunity to contribute to the conversation about our national recycling strategy. If you feel so inclined, please consider leaving your comments on the public dockets so that the EPA and other involved parties can hear your voice and bring about sustainable solutions that can help our planet and our communities.


 

For more details on the exact appropriations breakdown of all the EPA funding, view the EPA & Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Fact Sheet:

https://www.epa.gov/infrastructure/fact-sheet-epa-bipartisan-infrastructure-law

Learn more about the recycling and waste management goals here:

https://www.epa.gov/rcra/bipartisan-infrastructure-law-transforming-us-recycling-and-waste-management


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