WASHINGTON – To reaffirm our nation’s commitment to recycling and to underscore the importance of recycling to our economy and the environment, the Senate unanimously approved a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) that recognizes November 15, 2019 as “America Recycles Day.”
The Senate Recycling Caucus, led by Senators Boozman and Carper, is a bipartisan group of 26 senators engaged with environmental and industry stakeholders to find ways the federal government can more effectively encourage responsible recycling practices throughout the country. In 2019 alone, the caucus has held four briefings to hear about the state of recycling in America today and discuss ways in which the federal government can encourage more recycling.
In honor of America Recycles Day, Senators Boozman and Carper are encouraging their colleagues and all Americans to remember the importance of recycling. On Thursday, they spoke on the Senate floor to highlight the need to expand recycling practices.
“Recycling strengthens our economy and creates hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs in addition to being a common sense way to be responsible stewards of our environment,” Boozman said. “Arkansas is home to many companies that are contributing to a robust and growing commercial recycling industry. I encourage all Americans to use America Recycles Day as an opportunity to reflect on the critical importance of recycling, and to consider what we can do to support our environment through our own individual efforts.”
“Really, every day should be America Recycles Day! Recycling is a small step that just about every American can take each day to improve our quality of living and protect the environment we share,” Carper said. “I’ve been a strong advocate for recycling for 50 years, because I believe that all of us can do our part to preserve limited resources and reduce landfill input while, at the same time, protecting our environment and creating jobs. With plastic pollution projected to outweigh fish in our world’s oceans by 2050, and with the mounting challenges that have come with China’s new ‘Green Fence’ policy, it’s more important than ever that we encourage more Americans to reduce, reuse and recycle. I look forward to the work ahead of us in the Recycling Caucus to discuss and consider ways in which the federal government can effectively encourage innovation in recycling, and I’m grateful to have Senator Boozman’s partnership in this important effort.”
The full text of the resolution introduced by Senators Boozman and Carper is as follows:
Recognizing November 15, 2019, as ``America Recycles Day'' and expressing the sense of the Senate that recycling promotes a healthy economy and responsible environmental stewardship.
Whereas recycling is among the top actions that people in the United States can do to improve the environment and the economy of the United States;
Whereas, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, in the United States, only 21.4 percent of recyclable waste is recycled;
Whereas, in the United States, recycling is an industry valued at approximately $200,000,000,000;
Whereas diverting 75 percent of waste in the United States from landfilling and incineration to recycling by 2030 would result in the creation of approximately 2,300,000 recycling jobs, nearly 2 times the number of recycling jobs that existed in the United States in 2008;
Whereas the 2016 Recycling Economic Information Report by the Environmental Protection Agency found, using 2007 as a base year, that recycling and reuse activities—
(1) accounted for approximately 757,000 jobs, 0.52 percent of all jobs in the United States;
(2) produced approximately $36,600,000,000 in wages, 0.62 percent of total wages paid in the United States; and
(3) produced approximately $6,700,000,000 in tax revenue, 0.90 percent of total tax revenue in the United States;
Whereas recycling conserves natural resources and fresh water;
Whereas recycling prevents waste and discarded materials from ending up in oceans and waterways and harming water and wildlife;
Whereas, in 2015, approximately 67,800,000 tons of municipal solid waste were recycled, in contrast with 137,700,000 tons of municipal solid waste that were landfilled; and
Whereas, with respect to the 67,800,000 tons of municipal solid waste that were recycled, paper and paperboard accounted for 67 percent, metals accounted for 12 percent, and glass, plastic, and wood accounted for between 4 and 5 percent: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) recognizes November 15, 2019, as “America Recycles Day”;
(2) acknowledges that recycling benefits and strengthens the economy, environment, and communities of the United States; and
(3) encourages the people of the United States to be cognizant of their environmental footprint and to incorporate additional recycling practices into their daily lives.