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US proposes multi-billion recycling strategy

The US Congress has approved a new bill securing US$ 37 billion (EUR 33 billion) in funding in 2020 to support sustainable practices nationwide. Part of this will be invested in streamlining recycling bin labels across states.

The legislation was promoted by Betty McCollum, chair of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations sub-committee. She asked the US Environment Protection Agency to come up with a detailed sustainability strategy. Besides standardising recycling labels, which has been developed by non-profit organisation Recycle Across America, major priorities are wastewater management and lower pollution.

The ambitious 2020 funding bill has been passed by the House Appropriations Committee and will now be considered on the floor of the House.

‘The national recycling strategy is an absolute priority in order to strengthen recycling in communities across America,’ says McCollum. ‘It is environmental and economic madness to fill landfills and incinerators with recyclable materials because of confusion at the bin.’

In future, every household, business, school and institution should be using a standardised system to eliminate contamination and increase effective recycling.

The proposed bill is said to ‘ensure the long-term economic and environmental viability of local recycling programmes by exercising national leadership and facilitating the harmonisation of standards.’ McCollum believes it will also save billions of dollars in unnecessary expenditure.

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