April 05, 2021

Cárdenas, Bucshon Reintroduce the RECOVER Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, United States Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) reintroduced 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.

“This bipartisan, commonsense bill is a step forward smart solution to a growing problem,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “As our country continues to invest in clean energy technology, we must also invest in our recycling infrastructure. The RECOVER Act encourages local and state governments to invest in recycling programs and new technologies to increase collection rates and promote consumer education. Through public-private partnerships and a new grants program, we will help reduce our national plastic waste exports. This bill would create new jobs, boost our economy and, ultimately, it is good for American families and the environment.”

In addition to establishing a $500 million matching grants program to support, expand and modernize our country’s  recycling programs and infrastructure, the RECOVER Act would require the EPA to submit a report to Congress no later than two years after the date of enactment of this legislation on measures taken towards implementation. Moreover, the bill precludes the use of EPA funds for incineration.

“As the father of four kids, it is important to me to leave future generations with a cleaner environment than the one we inherited from our parents and grandparents,” said Dr. Bucshon. “One of the ways that we have been successful in cleaning up our nation’s environment is by encouraging greater numbers of Americans to recycle waste items instead of discarding them in landfills. Today, our nation is facing a recycling crisis due to inadequate infrastructure and the inability to keep up with waste stream contamination. Without the proper recycling infrastructure in place, we will not have the capacity needed to recycle waste items and they will either end up in a landfill, our oceans, or elsewhere in the environment as litter. We need to remain steadfast in pursuing an approach that drives economic growth and innovative technology to deliver a clean energy future – not more Washington rules and red tape. I am proud to join Congressman Cárdenas in reintroducing the RECOVER Act, which will help promote greater investment in recycling infrastructure and consumer education to ensure our nation has the recycling infrastructure needed to continue allowing Americans to recycle waste items instead of sending them to the landfill.”

Last year, Congressman Cárdenas introduced the National Evaluation of Techniques for Making Energy Technologies More Effective and Resilient (NET METER) Act to create a national study on net metering to guide states interested in developing effective net metering programs. Net metering allows consumers and businesses who generate some or all of their own electricity, particularly through wind and solar energy technology, to be compensated for the excess energy that they provide to the electric grid and other customers. The House-passed COVID-Relief and Spending Package which passed Congress and was signed by the President included language from the NET METER Act.

Last summer, Cárdenas introduced the Affordable Solar Energy for Our Communities Act. This bill establishes a $200 million grant program to finance the planning and construction of solar installations thereby reducing costs for low-income families. 

Congressman Tony Cárdenas is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.