Sens. Snowe and Carper Create Jobs and Save Energy Through Recycling Legislation

The Recycling Investment Saves Energy Act (RISE) Would Annually Save Enough Energy to Heat 74 Million American Homes



Legislation that would reduce greenhouse gases, create jobs, help business and improve recycling programs throughout the country was introduced today by U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Del.). The Recycling Investment Saves Energy Act (RISE) further strengthens the record of environmental stewardship both Senators have established in Congress and in their home states.
More American companies are utilizing recycled material in the products they manufacture. Unfortunately, the supply of recycled materials is not keeping up with the demand, which could cause companies to switch to more costly non-recycled material or shut down. This legislation will increase the amount of available recycled material and help address companies’ needs for more recyclables.
“As a co-chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus, I am encouraged by the strong bipartisan support of my RISE legislation,” Senator Snowe said. “The scale of our energy problem requires an innovative solution that focuses on being more efficient with resources. The benefits of recycling are not limited to the avoidance of waste, but also to avoiding the need of energy intensive new materials. As a result, as high energy costs persist, it is essential that we foster recycling policies that improve both the quality and quantity of recycled products. Recycling can be an effective tool to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and I am encouraged by this strong step forward.”
“Recycling and the RISE legislation are a piece of a larger puzzle to preserve our environment and conserve energy,” said Sen. Carper, co-chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus and chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety.  “I have long been a champion for recycling and believe the RISE Act will increase America’s capabilities to recycle while creating new jobs for American workers.”
The legislation permits companies to take advantage of accelerated depreciation for the purchase of equipment used for recycling. RISE enables recycling companies to invest in new equipment and upgrade outdated facilities to help process the 820,000 tons of aluminum and 129 million bottles and cans that are currently thrown away and not recycled each year.
By increasing the recycling rate of these commodities by 10 percent, the RISE Act would conserve enough energy to heat more than 74 million homes, provide electricity for 2.5 million Americans and save nearly $440 million in crude oil costs. 
Today, more than 1 million jobs are created through the recycling industry. The RISE Act incentives will create even more job opportunities for Americans, while conserving energy and protecting our environment.