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Sen. Rob Portman Sponsoring Bill To Improve Recycling Rates

In this April 16, 2018 file photo, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks during a news conference at a Kroger supermarket as the company announces new associate benefits attributed to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo
/
Associated Press
In this April 16, 2018 file photo, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks during a news conference at a Kroger supermarket as the company announces new associate benefits attributed to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in Cincinnati.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says as much as one-third of materials in recycling bins are going into landfills.

"This is unacceptable and I think most of my constituents would be shocked to hear that,” Portman said. 

Part of the problem, Portman told reporters on Tuesday, China is taking much less "dirty waste."

Portman has introduced legislation to educate people on what can be recycled and how our country can do it more cost effectively.

Last month, Portman and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced the “RECYCLE Act,” or “Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education.” Through the EPA, it would create a new federal grant program to increase recycling rates and reduce contamination.

"Our first bill that we've introduced with Debbie Stabenow focuses on providing better understanding on how recycling works and how it can work better,” Portman said.

When checking up on customers in Fairfield and other neighborhoods around the Tri-State, Rumpke found people are still confused about what to put in their recycling bins.

The RECYCLE bill would do the following:

  • Authorize $15 million per year over five years in grants to states, local government, American Indian tribes, nonprofits and public-private partnerships to educate and inform consumers and households about their residential and community recycling programs.
  • Direct the EPA to develop a model recycling program toolkit for states, local governments, Indian tribes and partners to deploy in order to improve recycling rates and decrease contamination in the recycling stream.
  • Require the EPA to more frequently review and revise, if appropriate, its Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines, which designate products containing recycling materials and provides recommended practices for federal agencies to purchase such products.