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Why EMR supports the Senate’s new recycling act, which will help the US embrace the benefits and opportunities of a ‘circular economy’

Steve Deacon, Chief Commercial Officer at EMR USA

US Senate

Earlier this month, the US Senate passed a bipartisan bill, the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act, which aims to enhance recycling infrastructure across the country and reduce our communities’ reliance on landfill.

With the US preparing to meet its 50% recycling rate target by the end of the decade, EMR USA – a world-leading metal recycling company – fully supports this important legislative milestone.

Every time recyclable material ends up in landfill it is a missed opportunity to use it again and reduce humanity’s reliance on finite resources such as virgin iron ore, aluminium and plastics. For some metals, including copper, current reserves will, one day, run out, making simply throwing away this vital material particularly unsustainable.

The fact that the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (S. 1189) has now passed unanimously is a clear sign that the country are united in wanting to use the material we no longer need in a smarter way.

While many cities are already pivoting towards a ‘circular economy’ (the term for the virtuous cycle of reusing waste metals and plastics as components in brand-new products, vehicles or buildings), many rural communities have lacked the infrastructure to follow suit.

The new act will allow the EPA to launch pilot programs to improve recycling services in under-served areas. With more than 55 facilities located across the country, EMR USA has spent decades developing a network of sites in communities both large and small. EMR USA believes that the new act will further support the many farmers, small businesses and other customers we serve every day, reducing the use of landfill across the US.

Thanks, in many cases, to investment by EMR, the recycling of materials is already a fast-growing and fast-evolving industry.

EMR USA is therefore ready to help with the USA’s aims of reducing the use of landfill and keeping valuable resources in the ‘circular economy’.

The metal recycler has been investing in creating a circular economy already, including the creation of the world’s most advanced and sustainable shredder facility in Becker, Minnesota. EMR also built a rail link to connect the site to US manufacturers who can utilise the valuable ferrous and nonferrous metals it processes.

Globally, EMR’s investment and innovation includes a brand-new circular supply chain for end-of-life electric vehicle batteries and decommissioned wind turbines, ensuring the technology that will drive growth and jobs in the future can also be efficiently and sustainably reused or recycled.

The company has even set up a new division – EMR Reusable Steels – to create a path for the highest-quality steel sections in end-of-life buildings to be used again. Not only do these innovations help protect the planet for future generations, in every case they also help increase resource security at a time when the global supply chains for many materials can be threatened by conflict or natural disasters.

Looking further forward, the US economy is about to undergo one of its biggest transformations in a century. Much of the prosperity of the future will stem from the emergence of new technologies including renewable energy, electric vehicles, green steel and hydrogen power – all of which will be reliant on an efficient and effective circular economy, powered by recycling.

At EMR, we have been championing recycling for more than 70 years. The unanimous passing of the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act is further proof that this industry – and, with it, the US economy – has a bright future ahead.