Asking what should count as recycling, EPA gets an earful
If food scraps from households are composted, should that count in the nation’s recycling rate? What if they’re fed to livestock or processed in anaerobic digesters?
Those are just a couple of the many questions the EPA is grappling with as it seeks to define exactly what “recycling rate” will mean. Last fall, the agency released a national recycling rate goal of 50% by 2030. Using current methodologies, the EPA estimates the U.S. has a 32% recycling rate.
But the EPA is considering changing the calculation methodology. In particular, the agency is examining which sources of material, types of materials, management pathways and destinations to count. Not surprisingly, among the 108 comments from different recycling industry stakeholders, advice differed dramatically. The following are some takeaways from comments submitted by industry stakeholders.
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