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Another Win for Composting Legislation!

By Blair Michal
Community . Composting . Education . Sustainability

What is the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act (RCAA)? In simplest form, why does it matter?

The RCAA is a bipartisan bill that allows us to finally understand the full picture on recycling and composting infrastructure (or lack thereof) across our country.  RCAA would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collect data from state, local, and Tribal governments. This data will shed light on the challenges and capabilities of these two industries.

Here’s a little more on what the Recycling and Composting Act would do:

  • Evaluate laws that provide barriers to compost infrastructure.
  • Assess the land and cost required to scale composting infrastructure.
  • Assess the capability of a national residential composting strategy.
  • Study compostable packaging labeling and education needs.
  • Create a baseline of data on the U.S. recycling system.
  • Report the annual recycling rates of federal agencies.
  • Compile a list of current composting and recycling programs.
  • Assess end markets for all recyclable materials and compostable materials.
  • Study contamination rates, specifically of residential and drop-off programs recycling and composting programs.
  • Establish recycling and composting best practices and voluntary guidelines to enhance recycling and composting efforts.

Fun Fact: One of the senators even shared that they compost at home and hoped they could bring composting to their capital office too. Let’s hope there is a composter in the House.

What will the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act do for the composting industry?

This intensive study will be our most thorough snapshot into America’s sustainable waste management solutions. While this bill will not provide a plan of action, it gives us data. And data empowers policy. The published data, guidelines, and recommendations developed thanks to this bill can help inform legislators on the current lack of infrastructure and help them prioritize future composting policies. The more composting is in front of our legislators, the more they will see that it is a viable bipartisan solution to a multitude of sectors.

Simply Buckhead Cover Story: "Serving Mother Earth" by Michael Jacobs, PHOTO: Sara Hanna

What’s next? 

RCAA (HR8059) will be decided in the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Reach out to your representative to support this bipartisan bill here. https://p2a.co/g2ENeqB 

Other bills to have on your radar: Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (passed in the Senate) & the COMPOST Act (introduced). 

Curious about legislation within your area?

Check out our new United States Packaging Legislation Map!

Simply Buckhead Cover Story: "Serving Mother Earth" by Michael Jacobs, PHOTO: Sara Hanna
Blair Michal

Blair Michal

Partner Advocate

Blair is here to help you reach your organization’s sustainability goals. Her background in composting and compostable packing makes her a great advocate to help you close the loop in your community through compostable packaging. Her passion for the planet goes beyond packaging. Outside of work you can find her gardening, camping, hiking, and mountain biking near her home in the North Georgia mountains. 


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