SWANA Supports Rise Act With Necessary Amendments

SWANA has proposed three amendments to the RISE Act of 2007, introduced this week by Senators Snowe (R-ME) and Carper (D-DE). In a letter to the Senators, SWANA requested: a revision of the definition of recycling to include composting, the option of a tax credit as an alternative to accelerated depreciation, and a mechanism for the public sector to directly benefit from the financial incentives.

SWANA applauds the last provision of the bill, which clarifies the definition of a solid waste disposal facility to allow for recycling facilities to qualify for the tax-exempt bond financing. SWANA strongly supports this provision of the bill and hopes the bill will be amended so SWANA will be in a position to offer its full support for the RISE Act.

"SWANA looks forward to supporting a bill that includes a way for the public sector to directly benefit from new recycling initiatives," said John H. Skinner, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO of SWANA. "As stated in our letter, we believe that local and state governments are responsible for the management of municipal solid waste, and they must therefore have the tools and financial resources to manage waste responsibly."

In addition to the letter to the senators, SWANA has created an Action Alert Letter on its online Action Center. The alert provides a letter and talking points so that solid was professionals can take action and write to their senators encouraging the amendments. The Action Center can be found on the SWANA homepage at

Adding composting to the RISE Act will allow the bill to have a substantial impact on recycling rates, as almost a third of the waste stream is made up of compostable materials.

A tax credit would serve as a financial incentive to a multitude of recyclers, providing flexibility for equipment purchases. The accelerated depreciation option does not provide a substantial cost savings for SWANA members, depending on the type and cost of certain equipment. According to the letter, the 2005 RISE Provisions, introduced by former Senator Jeffords as an amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, H.R. 6, included a tax credit and was passed by the Senate. SWANA questions why this approach was abandoned this year as a RISE tax credit would "take into account the needs of a broad range of recyclers, recycling activities, and equipment."

As currently drafted, the RISE bill would not support the role of local and state governments to manage municipal solid waste. The lack of financial incentives to municipalities and other local governments makes them "less competitive due to new cost savings provided to the private sector." With no evidence that savings provided to the private sector will be passed to the public sector, SWANA called for a mechanism for the public sector to directly benefit from the tax savings. SWANA proposed three possible options for a mechanism of direct benefit to the public sector, these being (1) assignability of tax savings, (2) providing tax savings to the supplier and not the purchaser, and (3) a Governmental bonds program. A more detailed description of these can be read in the letter to the senators.

To read the letter sent to Senators Snowe and Carper, click here.

To send a letter to your senator from SWANA's Action Center, click here.

To read the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) Fact Sheet, included with the letter to Senators Snowe and Carper, click here.

About SWANA:

For over 40 years, SWANA, The Solid Waste Association of North America, has been the leading professional association in the solid waste management field. SWANA's mission is "to advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound management of municipal solid waste." SWANA serves over 7,600 members and thousands more industry professionals with technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses.

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About SWANA:

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For close to 60 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses.

Media Contact:

Sarah Beidleman, Marketing Coordinator