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Recycling Resolution Will Boost Economy and Environment

On August 2, Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced Senate Resolution S. Res. 251, which expresses support for "improvement in the collection, processing, and consumption of recycled material throughout the United States in order to create well-paying jobs, foster innovation and investment in the U.S. recycling infrastructure, and stimulate the economy."

[Read the full press release here]

Recycling is critical in developing and boosting our nation’s economy by directly or indirectly employing over 450,000 people throughout the U.S. and adding more than $90 billion in economic output.

The Recycling Roundtable, an advocacy group comprised of the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Aluminum Association, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), the National Solid Waste Management Association (NSWMA), the American Forestry and Paper Association (AF&PA) and the Paper Recycling Coalition (PRC) applauded the resolution and urged its quick passage.

"On behalf of steel, the world’s most recycling material, we are greatly encouraged by the Senate Resolution supporting recycling. As the economy improves, the steel manufacturing industry will convert more old steel to new steel-- the final step in recycling-- from construction materials to automobiles to containers and other steel products, thus improving our economy and society while reducing environmental effects, " SRI Executive Director Greg Crawford commented.

The Senate Recycling Caucus, formed in 2006 by Carper and Snowe, aims to inform Members of Congress and the general public of the multiple environmental benefits of recycling, in addition to its direct relation to maintaining and protecting the national security interests in the U.S.

The Senate Resolution also points out that "recycling plays an integral role in the sustainable management of materials throughout the life-cycle of a product."

S. Res. 251 also points out that in 2010, "the United States recycling industry collected, processed, and consumed over 130,000,000 metric tons of recyclable material, valued at $77 billion."

S. Res. 251 sponsors include Sens. Carper (D-Del.), Olympia Snow (R-Maine), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y). and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

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