Recycling: Building on Existing Federal Efforts Could Help Address Cross-Cutting Challenges, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 5MB]
From the Highlights: "In 1976, Congress sought to reduce solid waste and encourage recycling as part of RCRA [Resource Conservation and Recovery Act], which gave primary responsibility for recycling to states and municipalities but requires EPA and Commerce to take specific actions. The United States generated almost 1,800 pounds of waste per capita in 2018. Recycling rates for common recyclables, such as paper, plastics, glass, and some metals, remain low. Furthermore, recent international import restrictions have reduced demand for U.S. exports of recyclables. GAO [United States Government Accountability Office] was asked to review federal efforts that advance recycling in the United States. This report examines (1) cross-cutting challenges affecting recycling in the United States, (2) actions that selected federal agencies have taken that advance recycling, and (3) actions EPA has taken to plan and coordinate national efforts to advance recycling. GAO reviewed laws and agency documents; and interviewed federal officials and nonfederal stakeholders, such as states, municipalities, and industry representatives, selected for their expertise and efforts to advance recycling."
Government Accountability Office: https://www.gao.gov/