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Sen. Rob Portman Talks Trash - As In, The Importance Of Recycling

rob portman
John Minchillo

Ohio Senator Rob Portman told reporters Tuesday as much as one-third of materials in recycling bins are going into landfills. "This is unacceptable and I think most of my constituents would be shocked to hear that." He has introduced legislation to educate people on what can be recycled and how our country can do it more cost effectively.

China is taking much less "dirty waste" and that's part of the problem, he says. Portman and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the RECYCLE Act last month. (Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education) It's S.B. 2941.

Through the EPA, it would create a new federal grant program to increase recycling rates and reduce contamination. During a conference call with reporters, Portman said, "Our first bill that we've introduced with Debbie Stabenow focuses on providing better understanding on how recycling works and how it can work better."

People are still confused about what to put in their recycling bins. Rumpke found people are still confused about what to put in their recycling bins when checking up on customers in Fairfield and other neighborhoods around the Tri-State.

The RECYCLE bill would do the following:

  • Authorize $15 million per year over five years in grants to states, local government, Indian tribes, nonprofits and public-private partnerships to educate and inform consumers and households about their residential and community recycling programs.
  • Direct the EPA to develop a model recycling program toolkit for states, local governments, Indian tribes and partners to deploy in order to improve recycling rates and decrease contamination in the recycling stream.
  • Require the EPA to more frequently review and revise, if appropriate, its Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines, which designate products containing recycling materials and provides recommended practices for federal agencies to purchase such products.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.