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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: November 28, 2017 03:49 PM
From: Senator Patrick J. Stefano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Glass Recycling
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation designating glass as an additional required material to be made available to recyclers. The Pennsylvania Jobs and Recycling Sustainability Act will modernize existing recycling policy in the Commonwealth and preserve crucial space in our landfills. The goal of the PA Jobs and Recycling Sustainability Act is to extend the lifecycle of a landfill system already experiencing tremendous pressure from an antiquated recycling policy, which does not require glass to be recycled. This legislation will create jobs in Pennsylvania, boost glass recycling, and reduce carbon emissions in our many glass manufacturing plants.

Glass is infinitely recyclable; it can be perpetually reprocessed without losing any of its quality or purity. Recycled glass can account for 95% of newly-manufactured glass, which reduces energy costs, raw material usage, and carbon emissions. Furthermore, for every 1,000 tons of glass that is recycled, approximately eight jobs are sustained; so, recycling glass is good for the economy and the environment.

Despite these benefits, only 12% of glass beverage containers were recycled in Pennsylvania in 2015. Over 300,000 tons of glass ended up in our landfills. Over 14 million beverage containers were wasted. Recycling is declining in half of our counties. It is becoming clearer every year that our current recycling model is not sustainable for long-term growth in recycling markets. We are on the verge of a recycling crisis. We must do better, and it starts with changing the law.

Currently, Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) must provide three recyclable materials to recyclers. My bill would make glass the fourth required material. Enforcement of this rule change would be simple and would come at no additional cost to the taxpayer. MRFs would simply be required to separate glass in order to be eligible for existing performance grants already in place to encourage recycling.

It is time to modernize our recycling programs in Pennsylvania, and that starts with getting more recyclable materials out of the waste stream. My bill will help Pennsylvania become a center for recycling innovation and create thousands of jobs while preserving valuable landfill space for decades to come.

I sincerely hope that you will consider joining me in co-sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Jake Gery in my office at 717.787.7175

Introduced as SB1049