Advocacy Alert – Recycling Infrastructure

Hoosier Chapter Members – Today we were notified by SWANA of their intent to join a coalition with several other associations, including the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the Foodservice Packaging Institute, and the Recycling Partnership. They participated in a call today concerning lobbying Congress to include recycling in any infrastructure legislation being considered on Capitol Hill.   Below is the text of a letter that is close to being finalized.  Please note that the language in the 5th bullet concerning access to curbside recycling is being revised.
The coalition expects to finalize the letter this week, so SWANA is requesting that if any members have significant comments or concerns with this letter to send them no later than 1 pm EDT on Thursday April 5.  Comments or concerns can be sent directly to Jesse Maxwell.

March xx, 2018
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan and Minority Leaders Schumer and Pelosi:
We are a broad collection of associations and organizations representing public and private sector industry working with all levels of government to address our nation’s solid waste management challenges. We believe strongly that a federal investment targeting recycling and recycled materials is critical to America’s economic success, will create jobs throughout the United States, and yield environmental benefits.
Recycling reduces the volume of material that otherwise ends up in U.S. landfills, wasting a valuable feedstock for American manufacturing that supports good-quality jobs here in the U.S. In addition, it helps reduces energy use and reduces our dependence on imported materials. The advances in recycling technology and material conversion technologies make 21st century recycling efforts much different than in decades past, and we need to continue to drive innovation.
Recent decisions by China to reduce or end the importation of scrap material from other nations, are disrupting recycling programs throughout the United States, and make it more critical that we make new investments in domestic recycling capacity. Without significant investment in such capacity, millions more tons of otherwise recoverable and recyclable material will be lost to landfills each year.
We encourage you to develop and advance an infrastructure investment package that includes and expands upon opportunities in solid waste management and recycling to improve our national infrastructure, promote sustainable development and create jobs.
Together, we urge support for including the following concepts in any federal infrastructure legislation that is developed: 
Retrofitting Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) with advanced sorting equipment that can identify and properly handle a wider range of packaging forms, including flexible film and smaller items made of otherwise recyclable material
Quicker permitting of MRFs, plastics recycling facilities, and conversion technology facilities that create valuable chemicals and energy products
Increased use of recycled material in infrastructure products where appropriate
Broadened use of private activity bonds for recycling projects
Incentive grants for state and local governments to expand curbside recycling options and the range of materials collected – Providing access to curbside recycling to all U.S. residents (less than half of Americans have now) will standardize the types of material that can be and are recovered across the country.
Education and training to improve understanding of what is recyclable, and to promote the manufacturing jobs aspect of the recycling process will support American jobs, the U.S. economy and the environment – Those jobs are created when recycling is picked up at the curb, when it’s taken to a facility to sort it out into metals, plastics and paper and when those materials are turned into something new. 
We look forward to discussing this important matter with you and your staff at your earliest possible convenience.

PLASTICS Industry Association