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News Releases from HeadquartersLand and Emergency Management (OLEM)

EPA Releases Draft National Recycling Strategy

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EPA Press Office (

WASHINGTON (October 5, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft National Recycling Strategy for public input in preparation for America Recycles Week and ahead of the third annual Recycling Summit. The draft National Recycling Strategy identifies strategic objectives and actions needed to create a stronger, more resilient U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system.

“Over the last two years, we’ve heard from our partners about the challenges facing our nation’s recycling system, and in particular for municipal solid waste recycling” said EPA Administrator Wheeler. “Our strategy aims to move recycling in America forward by identifying actions that all of us – governments, non-profits, private industry, and the public – can take together.”

The draft National Recycling Strategy was developed as part of EPA’s continued leadership in addressing the challenges facing the U.S. recycling system and builds on EPA’s 2019 National Framework for Advancing the U.S. Recycling System. The strategy organizes high-level actions around three strategic objectives to improve the U.S. recycling system: 1) reduce contamination, 2) increase processing efficiency, and 3) improve markets.

EPA has shared the draft National Recycling Strategy for public comment through December 4, 2020, with the goal of finalizing it in early 2021.

To read the National Recycling Strategy and provide comments visit:

Recycling is a critical component of the U.S. economy, providing approximately 700,000 jobs and $37 billion in wages; however, stressing the system are factors such as:

  • confusion about what materials can be recycled;
  • recycling infrastructure that has not kept pace with today’s diverse and changing waste stream;
  • reduced markets for recycled materials; and
  • varying methodologies to measure recycling system performance.

Recognizing this opportunity for progress, Administrator Wheeler hosted the first America Recycles Day Summit on November 15, 2018. Since then, more than 250 organizations have signed the America Recycles Pledge, promising to work collaboratively to improve the American recycling system. Administrator Wheeler will host the third annual America Recycles Day Summit on November 17, 2020, where he will announce the National Recycling Goals.

To learn more about the America Recycles efforts visit:

Organizations can join the effort by signing the pledge:

To read more about the National Recycling Goals visit: