WASHINGTON – The recycling industry is getting so big that local groups need the federal government’s help.
“One of the unique voices is the federal voice,” Robin Wiener with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries said Friday, Nov. 15.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is pitching in.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler helped host an event completely focused on the recycling system.
"We’re only at a 35% recycling rate, so the more we recycle the more jobs we’ll create. The better for the environment. The better for the economy. And the better for the American public,” Wheeler added.
The agency hosted the second annual recycling summit in Washington D.C. with over 170 organizations participating.
The organizations were looking at new challenges the recycling industry is facing; from infrastructure to public education to technology.
The administration said the US produces nearly 263 million tons of municipal solid waste.
About 68 million tons of that are recycled every year.
Wheeler said America can do better.
“Americans want to recycle but we need to make sure that everyone is doing it properly and that we can take full advantage of the materials and that they can go into new products,” Wheeler said.
The event fell during Recycles Week with everyone from members of Congress.
“Thank those that are recycling and if you’re not you’re missing out on the fun,” Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) said on the senate floor Thursday.
And the White House recognizing the national event in a statement.
“We reaffirm our commitment to building a more prosperous and innovative Nation.”
But as leaders from the recycling industry expressed on the panel America has a long way to go decreasing the amount of waste and leading the way for a better environment.