NWRA Files Appeal with CPSC Over FOIA Response to Mobile Phone Request

NWRA Files Appeal with CPSC Over FOIA Response to Mobile Phone Request

CPSC Has History of Noncompliance with FOIA Requests

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) filed an appeal with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after it failed to produce certain information and communications as part of a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) related to mobile phones.

NWRA believes that mobile phones are an addictive consumer product that is a primary source of distraction that directly results in injuries and deaths of many Americans including roadside waste and recycling workers. According to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 8 percent of fatalities were attributed to distracted driving in 2020.

On September 13, 2021, NWRA filed a FOIA request asking CPSC to produce specific information and communications related to mobile phones. NWRA found CPSC’s response on December 28, 2021, to be incomplete based upon the Association’s request and its specific knowledge of what is in possession of CPSC. For example, emails previously provided to NWRA by a safety advocate between that individual and CPSC, which fall within the date range requested and are directly on point to the Association’s request down to specific keywords, were not included.

When NWRA requested a meeting to discuss the discrepancies between what CPSC had provided and what is known to be in its possession, CPSC’s Office of General Counsel doubled down with a statement that CPSC staff had been advised by them not to meet with NWRA further. The message concluded with a suggestion to file an appeal with CPSC if the Association had additional concerns.

CPSC has a history of noncompliance with FOIA. In a September 30, 2015, Inspector General (IG) report on an audit of CPSC’s Freedom of Information Act Program, IG found that CPSC’s “program did not comply with certain policies and procedures mandated by the FOIA.”


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Brandon Wright
National Waste and Recycling Association