NWRA’s Priorities Included in Infrastructure Bill Passed by Senate

NWRA’s Priorities Included in Infrastructure Bill Passed by Senate

Arlington, VA – The U.S. Senate passed H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, by a vote of 69-30. Included in the legislation were several provisions important to NWRA, including funding for roads and bridges, but also the Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education (RECYCLE) Act of 2021 and the DRIVE-Safe Act.

“We applaud the Senate for passing this important infrastructure legislation,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “It included several provisions important to us that we believe will make our industry stronger and our drivers safer. We urge the House to quickly bring this to a vote when they return to Washington, D.C., in September.”

The waste and recycling industry and the U.S. Postal Service are the only two entities that travel every road in America at least once every week. This makes the waste and recycling industry one of the most significant stakeholders in the surface transportation system. Additional funding for roads, bridges and highways will improve road conditions so that they are in a state of good repair. This means fewer repairs are needed for the industry’s vehicles as well as less traffic congestion, which will save both time and fuel.

NWRA has supported the RECYCLE Act since before it was first introduced during the previous Congress in late 2019, working with Sen. Rob Portman to craft the legislation. The RECYCLE Act aims to increase both the quality and quantity of recycled materials. The bill would establish a consumer recycling education and outreach grant program within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an effort to clean up America’s recycling stream. It also calls for the development of a Model Recycling Program Toolkit with input from the private sector.

Additionally, certain provisions of the bill set forth best practices for battery recycling and a labeling guideline.

The DRIVE-Safe Act addresses the driver shortage facing many industries including waste and recycling. NWRA supported the DRIVE-Safe Act when it was first introduced in 2019. In the 116th Congress, the legislation received support from more than one-third of House and Senate members.

Other important provisions in the infrastructure bill include:

  • Replacing the word “accidents” with “crashes” in the U.S. Code
  • Studying rural roads and strategies to improve safety for all users
  • Supporting automated enforcement in roadway work zones
  • Improving crash data collection overall, including support for near real-time crash reporting and incorporating the National Emergency Medical Services Information System more fully into crash reporting


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