industry leaders visit Washington
One hundred twenty-five executives from leading
scrap recycling companies throughout the country took to Capitol
Hill on July 21 to support the scrap recycling industry’s agenda
on key legislative and regulatory issues.
The executives, in Washington to attend the Institute of Scrap
Recycling Industries (ISRI) Summer Board and Committee meetings,
called on more than 175 members of Congress all in one day to
help convey to those members the positive role that scrap recycling
plays in the nation’s economic and environmental well being,
with the $54 billion industry employing over 100,000 people and
providing $21.4 billion worth of exports to 154 countries worldwide.
Recycling is a climate-friendly activity that saves energy, reduces
carbon emissions and conserves natural resources.
Industry executives also stressed the importance of the Senate
and House Recycling Caucuses, which together include more than
150 members of both political parties, providing a permanent
infrastructure to help educate members of Congress and their
staffs about the economic and environmental benefits of recycling,
as well as providing a forum for exploring opportunities for
promoting and encouraging recycling in legislation. As a result
of the Congressional visits, several members of the House and
Senate pledged to join the Congressional Recycling Caucuses.
Other topics included:
•Climate change – industry voiced its support for an amendment
to any energy/climate change legislation to remove impediments
to recycling and encourage greater collection and consumption
of recyclables through incentives to recycling and building broader
public awareness and support for recycling. The amendment has
been included in most prior climate legislation and enjoys bi-partisan
•Electronics exports – The industry expressed its support for
the export of electronics in an environmentally responsible manner.
Industry leaders emphasized that ISRI has adopted a new electronics
recycling export policy that strongly condemns “sham” recycling,
as well as exports to countries and facilities that lack the
expertise to handle electronic scrap properly, as well as banning
the export of electronics for landfilling or incineration for
disposal. The new ISRI policy requires robust downstream due
diligence on facilities outside the United States that recycle
or refurbish electronics, as well as requiring verifiable environmental,
health and safety management systems.
•Materials theft – The industry is fully committed to combating
materials theft and working with law enforcement, community leaders
and affected businesses. ISRI has implemented programs, such
as ScrapTheftAlert.com and “Do Not Buy” lists, and established
outreach efforts designed to effectively reduce the number of
thefts. Industry leaders also noted that ISRI supports pragmatic
legislation that effectively combats the issues surrounding materials
theft, especially if it includes provisions to prevent the theft
of these materials in the first place.
•IRS reporting requirements – the expanded requirement to issue
1099s to purchases of property in excess of $600 in addition
to the current requirement for services (contained in the health
care legislation passed earlier this year) presents serious concerns
about proper implementation, including data security, enforcement,
and liability issues.
•Surface transportation board – reforming the Surface Transportation
Board to enforce the railroad industry’s obligations to serve
its customers and provide cost-effective approaches to help shippers.