National Recycling Coalition Leaders Testify Before Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

Washington, DC - Two leaders of the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) presented testimony before the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. Dobbins Callahan of Collins & Aikman Floorcoverings chairs both the NRC board of directors and NRC's Buy Recycled Business Alliance. Clifford Case of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn is an NRC founder and honorary lifetime board member.

The committee hearing on recycling included two parts: a session on federal procurement of recycled products, where Mr. Callahan and Mr. Case spoke, and a session on the national bottle bill introduced by Senator Jim Jeffords, the committee chair.

Mr. Callahan spoke about specific obstacles in the federal system that make it difficult for recycled product manufacturers to sell products to the federal government, as well as some proposed solutions. "The federal government has many of the mechanisms it needs already in place to increase its buy-recycled purchases, but those mechanisms need to be used more widely and more often," said Mr. Callahan.

During his testimony, Mr. Case reviewed the federal government's poor performance in buying recycled products to date. "We have seen limited successes and isolated achievements by the federal government, but by no means has the progress been sufficient," said Mr. Case. "Most agencies give lip service to recycling and they do not take their responsibility to buy recycled seriously. That must change," he said.

"Communities and states nationwide have invested millions of dollars in recycling collection and processing systems. Thousands of American companies have invested in the needed research and technology to use those materials to develop high-quality, cost-competitive recycled products. The federal government must now keep up its end of the deal by fully supporting recycling and regularly buying recycled products," says Kate Krebs, NRC's executive director.