In a press release published on October 5, 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the publication of a draft national recycling strategy and framework to advance the country’s recycling system. The strategy is focused on organizing action around the three strategic objectives of (i) reducing contamination of input streams, (ii) increasing processing efficiency, and (iii) improving markets for recycled materials. It is reported to have been developed from an earlier set of proposed efforts announced in August 2019 (FPF reported). Motivation for the strategy stems from an identified set of key stressors impacting the country’s recycling system including “confusion about what materials can be recycled, recycling infrastructure that has not kept pace with today’s diverse and changing waste stream, reduced markets for recycled materials, and varying methodologies to measure recycling system performance.”

“Over the last two years, we’ve heard from our partners about the challenges facing our nation’s recycling system, and in particular for municipal solid waste recycling,” commented the EPA’s administrator, Andrew Wheeler. “Our strategy aims to move recycling in America forward by identifying actions that all of us – governments, non-profits, private industry, and the public – can take together.”

The draft strategy is open for public comment until December 4, 2020.

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US EPA (October 5, 2020). “EPA Releases Draft National Recycling Strategy.”

US EPA (October 5, 2020). “Draft National Recycling Strategy and Executive Summary.”

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