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U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright introduced bicameral Trash Reduction and Sensible Handling (TRASH) Act, H.R. 5656, legislation that would allow states to determine waste entering into its borders.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

“The importation of waste into Pennsylvania has posed significant problems for our communities,” Rep. Cartwright stated. “Too many times, communities across the U.S. live in the shadow of trash, trash that often comes from hundreds of miles away. Our district has landfills reaching their holding capacity. This legislation gives states and communities a much needed voice. Also, we must strengthen and incentivize recycling, composting and environmental standards. This legislation helps communities do just that.”

Additionally, the TRASH Act allows states to restrict out-of-state waste coming into its state. Alternatively, the bill allows states to impose a community benefit fee, which a state can redirect toward communities affected by waste.

This legislation comes after the Keystone Sanitary Landfill has issued a proposal to remain open, increase the height of the site by 165 feet, and expand the size of the landfill overall. As many landfills and trash sites across the state and country are nearing capacity, the TRASH Act addresses an issue long overdue.

In the Pennsylvania 17th congressional district, six landfills have received out-of-state waste: Alliance Landfill in Taylor, Chrin Sanitary Landfill in Easton, Grand Central Sanitary Landfill in PenArgyl, Pine Grove Landfill in Pine Grove, Commonwealth Environmental Systems Landfill in Hegins, and the Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore.

Published in the August 2016 Edition of American Recycler News