SWANA Supports Recycling Legislation Introduced in Congress

RECOVER Act and RECYCLE Act Provide Necessary Funding for Municipal Programs


Silver Spring, MD – November 22, 2019 – The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) supports legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that provide necessary federal funding for recycling infrastructure and public education and outreach.

On November 15, America Recycles Day 2019, United States Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) introduced the bipartisan Realizing the Economic Opportunities and Values of Expanding Recycling (RECOVER) Act. This bill would allocate $500 million in matching federal grants to eligible states, local municipalities, and tribal governments to invest in improving their recycling infrastructure, programs, and education efforts.

“The financial support presented in this legislation is essential to building a reenergized recycling infrastructure and programs to meet stricter quality standards for recycling materials,” said Michael Greenberg, President of the Solid Waste Association of North America. “For many decades, recycling and recycling education was largely a municipal, county and state program. With these grants, all aspects of recycling will receive a significant and needed boost with this federal initiative”.

Legislation was also introduced on November 21 to address recycling outreach and public education by United States Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education (RECYCLE) Act would provide $50 million in competitive grants to states, local and tribal governments, non-profit organizations, and public-private partnerships to improve the effectiveness of residential recycling programs though public education and outreach. U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Todd Young (R-IN), are original cosponsors of this legislation.

“The RECYCLE Act provides timely and necessary support for public education and outreach to communities struggling to improve their residential recycling programs,” said David Biderman, Executive Director and CEO for SWANA. “For recycling to remain sustainable in the United States, the public needs to better understand its important role in reducing contamination and increasing valuable materials in the recycling bin. Congressional action would send a powerful message that the federal government prioritizes recycling.”

These two bills join the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, also under consideration in Congress and supported by SWANA, that work to address challenges within our nation’s recycling system. SWANA will continue to educate federal legislators about the unique challenges facing municipal recycling and advocate for advancing the responsible management of solid waste as a resource.


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 more than 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

Andrea Lazo
Director of Marketing & Digital Communications
(240) 494-2235