WASHINGTON D.C. — Recycling is not as easy as it used to be.
The Environmental Protection Agency is hosted its second annual Recycling Summit on Nov. 15 to focus on ways to improve the nation’s recycling infrastructure.
Here are the issues at hand: companies that recycle are not making money, and China has stopped accepting tons upon tons of US recycling material. However, the need to recycle instead of filling up landfills with re-useable trash is even more crucial.
“We’re only at a 35% recycling rate, so the more we recycle the more jobs we’ll create,” Andrew Wheeler, EPA Administrator, said. “The better for the environment, The better for the economy, and the better for the American public.”
The administration said the US produces nearly 263 million tons of municipal solid waste. About 68 million tons of that are recycled every year.
Administrator Wheeler said they are committed to getting the recycling rate up.
“Americans want to recycle, but we need to make sure that everyone is doing it properly and that we can take full advantage of the materials and that they can go into new products,” Wheeler said.
The summit is focused on looking at new challenges the recycling industry faces from infrastructure to public education to technology.
The summit fell during Recycles Week, with everyone from members of Congress to the The White House recognizing the national event.
“We reaffirm our commitment to building a more prosperous and innovative Nation,” the White House said in a statement.
But as leaders from the recycling industry expressed on the panel, America has a long way to go decreasing the amount of waste and forging a better environment.
“Thank those that are recycling, and if you’re not, you’re missing out on the fun,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-DE, said.