Snowe, Carper, Bean Praise Enactment of Federal Incentive for Recycling

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Tom Carper (D-Del.), and Representative Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) today praised the inclusion of their legislation, the Recycling Investment Saves Energy (RISE) Act, in the tax extenders package signed into law last Friday which provides critical tax breaks for business to buy recycling equipment. The legislation will encourage investment in recycling and spur significant energy savings by allowing taxpayers to claim accelerated depreciation for the purchase of equipment used to collect, distribute, or recycle a variety of commodities such as paper, plastic and glass.

“Recycling has long been an effective and clean way to reduce waste, yet we have only recently discerned that recycling also provides significant energy savings,” Senator Snowe said. “By encouraging investment in recycling industries, we can clean up our planet while reducing energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases. The RISE Act will spark the advancement of recycling technology and improve the quality of recycled products.”

“Among all the ways individuals and small businesses can help protect our environment, one of the simplest yet most important and affective is to recycle,” said Sen. Carper. “Today, we are not doing enough to encourage recycling because of various regulatory and trade barriers that limit supplies. I am very pleased that RISE Act will use the power of federal tax incentives to promote the continued growth and success of the recycling industry.”

“Improving recycling technology and utilization reduces our nation’s overall energy demands. This bill provides tax incentives to those companies that are participating in conservation and are part of the solution to our nation’s energy challenges,” said Representative Bean. 

Senators Snowe and Carper are co-chairs of the Senate Recycling Caucus, which works to improve recycling rates throughout the country. Recycling has recently been recognized as a valuable energy saver. America wastes the energy equivalent of 15 medium coal power plants by throwing away aluminum and steel cans, plastic and glass containers and newsprints each year. Yet by improving recycling technology and replacing these new or “virgin” products with recyclables, the United States can reduce needless energy consumption and improve this cost- and environmental-effective industry. 

As part of the recently-passed tax extenders package, the RISE Act provides an accelerated depreciation to be taken on recycling infrastructure, so that companies can recoup costs rapidly after their capital investment. These added investments in recycling will incite industry advancements and improve the quality of recycled products.

A wide group of organizations supported the legislation including the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the American Beverage Association, the Glass Packaging Institute, and the National Recycling Coalition also praised the enactment of the provision into law.