Federal Laws Promote Recycling Participation

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The Congress affirmed its commitment to reducing waste and encouraging recycling, first through enactment of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976, and then again with passage of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. Both RCRA and the Pollution Prevention Act address alternatives to waste disposal. RCRA promotes the use of resource recovery, either through facilities that convert waste to energy or through recycling. To promote recycling, RCRA required EPA to develop guidelines for identifying products that are or can be produced with recovered materials. RCRA also required federal agencies to procure items that are, to the maximum extent practicable, produced with recovered materials. . . .

EPA has implemented several promising voluntary programs to encourage recycling and reuse of used electronics. Without EPA authority to require recycling of these products or to require other federal agencies to participate, however, these programs' successes have been and will continue to be limited. . . .

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