WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released the below statement in observance of America Recycles Day.

“As a member of the Senate Recycling Caucus, I was pleased that our committee held an informative hearing and accompanying roundtables on this important topic in September, but much work remains to meet EPA’s National Recycling Goal of recycling 50 percent by 2030,” Ranking Member Capito said. “Recycling is critical to a more sustainable future. Improving recycling can reduce waste going to landfills, conserve natural resources, and support domestic manufacturing. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure with specific funds for recycling infrastructure, as well as grants to improve recycling education. I look forward to seeing how these funds can help the American people meet our National Recycling Goal in the coming decade.

“However, these investments will not solve all of the challenges facing recycling. Fostering innovation is necessary to meet this goal. I am disappointed that EPA chose to host neither an in-person nor a virtual National Recycling Summit and Innovation Fair this year. The previous administration managed to have a robust virtual event even amid the pandemic. Both events provided opportunities to engage stakeholders to learn from their unique perspectives and experiences to help develop robust solutions to these challenges. The Innovation Fair showcased our nation’s entrepreneurs to demonstrate how these pioneers are revolutionizing the possibilities of recycling. These events – whether virtual or in person – offered opportunities to hear from recyclers themselves, consumer brands, state and local governments, and others. While I am encouraged that EPA finalized its National Recycling Strategy, I am surprised EPA has chosen to prioritize other issues and miss out on these two-way conversations. I encourage the agency to open its doors, even if virtually, to engage stakeholders and showcase innovation moving forward.” 

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