Aug 3, 2015

Rep. Ellison Introduces Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act


WASHINGTON—Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced the Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act (H.R. 3237) today, which will support communities striving towards zero waste by establishing a grant program that funds the infrastructure, technology, and community outreach needed to achieve it.

 "Preventing waste and diverting it from our landfills means a healthier environment and a more sustainable economy," Rep. Ellison said. "Zero Waste is about preventing waste at the source and reusing the rest. It's also about creating local jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and using our limited resources wisely."

 "Congressman Ellison's bill would give local leaders the funds they need to initiate innovative projects that reduce waste, increase recycling, and create good green jobs in communities across the country," said Michael Brune, Executive Director of Sierra Club. "We're proud to support the legislation and stand with him as he continues fighting for cleaner neighborhoods and healthier families."

"The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) is pleased to endorse the Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act," the National Recycling Coalition said in a letter. "In conjunction with source reduction, reuse, and composting, the recycling of valuable materials is essential to a sustainable environmental, energy, and economic future. We believe that recycling is a shared responsibility which requires citizen engagement. The grants program will provide critical investment in infrastructure and technologies. This will help achieve the goal of a more sustainable America for our future."

"The US Composting Council supports this bill and all efforts that help to divert organic residuals away from disposal and into composting. The inclusion of language that offers funding for public/private partnerships should benefit both local business and the environment," the US Composting Council said in a statement.

"We applaud your leadership in drafting the Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act," said Ruth Abbe, President of Zero Waste USA. "We look forward to working with you through the legislative process to highlight the importance of these Zero Waste efforts to create local jobs, help local businesses be more efficient, and help communities meet their climate action and sustainability goals."

The Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act would award grants to local government and non-government partners to:
· Provide critical investment in infrastructure, technologies, and practices to prevent waste and reuse, recycle and compost more
· Support local businesses interested in eliminating wasteful practices and packaging
· Develop outreach and education programs to help people to reuse, recycle and compost
Rep. Ellison also released an episode of We the Podcast today on zero waste featuring Minnesota State Representative Frank Hornstein, Minneapolis' Eureka Recycling and Liz Bergquist from Edina Grill.

You can learn more about zero waste by visiting the Zero Waste International Alliance's website.