Summary: H.R.3939 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3939. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (11/26/1991)

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle for America Act - Title I: State Recycling Requirements and Related Provisions - Amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate regulations containing a standard methodology for States and municipalities to measure: (1) the composition of waste generated in their jurisdictions, by type and amount; and (2) the waste management capacity of landfills, recycling facilities, and incinerators.

Requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations for States, municipalities, and regional solid waste management authorities to identify the life-cycle costs of waste management or recycling options.

Directs the Administrator to promulgate regulations containing a standard methodology to measure the amount of material annually diverted from a municipal solid waste stream and to calculate the diversion rates for materials. Requires a diversion rate for a particular material to be calculated by comparing the amount of the material generated within a municipality or regional authority with the annual amount of that material diverted from an incinerator or landfill for recycling purposes.

Directs such municipalities or regional authorities to conduct waste composition analyses at least once every five years to indicate: (1) the percentage of solid waste managed in the jurisdiction that consists of materials required to be analyzed; and (2) the percentage of such waste that consists of noncombustible materials. Includes within the list of materials to be analyzed: (1) paper; (2) glass; (3) metal; (4) plastics; (5) food and yard waste; (6) wood; (7) construction and demolition debris; (8) household hazardous waste and lead-acid and household batteries; (9) medical waste; (10) incinerator ash; and (11) miscellaneous combustibles and noncombustibles.

Prohibits States, municipalities, or other local solid waste management authorities from issuing permits for the construction, expansion, or operation of a landfill, incinerator, or composting unit unless a waste composition analysis has been conducted in the jurisdiction where the facility is or will be located.

Requires States or regional authorities to carry out programs to divert annually from incineration and landfilling those materials that otherwise would be destined for disposal by such methods. Sets forth required diversion percentages for glass, paper, metals, plastics, and yard and food waste. Provides that the delivery of plastics, metals, or glass for composting purposes shall not be considered diversion. Requires the Administrator to increase diversion rates by July 1, 2002, to assure decreasing reliance on incineration and landfilling. Authorizes States to petition for alternative diversion rates if economic conditions preclude an entity from achieving such rates, subject to specified requirements.

Directs entities to which diversion requirements apply to certify to the State that the applicable percentage of materials has been diverted from the waste stream. Prohibits the issuance of permits by States, municipalities, or other regional authorities for the construction, expansion, or operation of a landfill or incinerator unless the entity from which the facility plans to accept waste: (1) is achieving the required diversion rates; and (2) demonstrates that the facility will not interfere with maintaining such rates. Declares that States must demonstrate achievement of diversion rates in order to receive approval for solid waste management plans.

Prohibits the incineration of the following materials in municipal incineration units: (1) glass; (2) ferrous and nonferrous metals; (3) lead-acid and household batteries; (4) recyclable plastics; (5) yard waste; and (6) other materials that are noncombustible or recyclable, as appropriate. Requires owners or operators of such units to inspect wastes to ensure that such materials are removed before incineration and to certify to the State that they are in compliance with such prohibition. Excludes from the inspection requirement waste delivered after prohibited materials have been: (1) removed at a materials recovery facility; or (2) collected pursuant to a curbside collection or deposit program under which material is diverted from solid waste at a rate of at least 90 percent.

Prohibits the disposal of lead-acid and household batteries in municipal landfills. Makes such prohibition inapplicable under certain circumstances.

Provides for the incorporation of requirements under this title into State solid waste management plans.

Title II: Other Recycling Provisions - Requires manufacturers or importers of covered items to ensure that such items contain a minimum percentage of post-consumer materials. Defines a "covered item" as a product, packaging or a container for a product, or materials made of aluminum, glass, steel, plastic, or paper. Authorizes manufacturers or importers to comply with such requirements by: (1) recycling a covered item for purposes of producing such item; or (2) purchasing recycling credits under a system established by the Administrator. Sets forth minimum content standards and deadlines for compliance for aluminum, glass, steel, plastics, and paper. Provides for exemptions to such requirements in cases where meeting such requirements would result in a potential hazard to human health or the environment.

Prescribes penalties for violations of such requirements.

Sets forth recordkeeping requirements for importers and manufacturers of covered items.

Prohibits manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or importers from offering a consumer item for sale or promotional purposes if such item contains less than 90 percent product (by volume) or more than ten percent package and packing material (by volume). Exempts specified items from such requirement. Requires manufacturers or importers of products, packages, or packing material to furnish to the Administrator, a retailer, or a consumer, upon request, a certification of compliance with respect to such requirement. Prescribes penalties for violations of such requirement.

Requires manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or importers of motorized vehicles (other than automobiles) or large appliances to: (1) accept any vehicle or appliance of the type sold by such persons from purchasers; or (2) assure the diversion of such items away from incinerators or landfills.

Permits the disposal of household batteries only by delivery to retailers, wholesalers, or manufacturers of batteries of the same general type, regulated collection or recycling facilities, or governmental curbside collection programs. Sets forth disposal requirements for retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.

Prohibits battery retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers from refusing to accept batteries of the same type as the batteries sold. Requires wholesalers to remove used batteries from the place of business of the retailer.

Sets forth refund requirements with respect to such batteries.

Requires notices to be posted in household battery retail establishments that: (1) state that is illegal to throw away such batteries and that Federal law requires acceptance of batteries for recycling and the return of batteries to authorized recyclers or collectors; and (2) encourage the recycling of used batteries.

Prohibits the sale of household batteries unless such batteries bear a label that identifies the chemical in the battery and that states the refund value and requirements for recycling and acceptance. Requires the Administrator to promulgate labeling requirements for small, button-shaped batteries. Prohibits States or local governments from enforcing labeling requirements unless identical with this Act's requirements.

Prohibits the sale of a rechargeable consumer product unless: (1) the battery can be easily removed by the consumer or is contained in a battery pack separate from the product and can be easily removed; and (2) the product and the battery are both labeled in a manner that is clearly visible, that indicates that the battery must be collected separately, and that identifies the electrode used in the battery.

Revises provisions concerning Federal procurement of recycled goods. Applies procurement requirements to the purchase or acquisition of items during a fiscal year if, during any of the preceding five fiscal years, the price of such items exceeded $10,000 in the aggregate. Includes the Congress within the definition of "procuring agency." Requires procuring agencies to procure only items which are composed of the highest percentage of post-consumer materials (currently, recovered materials) practicable or, in the case of items for which minimum content standards have been set, which contain no less than the required minimum content.

Revises conditions under which a procuring agency may determine not to procure such items.

Directs the Administrator to: (1) revise existing standards for the procurement of paper containing post-consumer materials so that the standards are at least as stringent as the minimum content requirements of title II; (2) promulgate standards for the procurement and use of containers and packaging and other goods made from aluminum, ferrous, and plastic scrap and waste glass that are as stringent as such requirements; (3) promulgate standards for the procurement and use of waste glass in the construction of paved surfaces, rubber scrap in the construction of paved surfaces, roofing, and other nonroadway applications, and compost, fertilizers, and other soil amendments made from yard and food waste; and (4) promulgate standards for at least three additional categories of items and other items, as appropriate.