On October 8, 2020, Richard Keller and Chaz Miller testified at the House Environment Committee Workgroup on Waste Reduction and Recycling. The workgroup heard from industry experts in the plastics and recycling industries as well as organics and composting.
Keller testified on Market Development for recycled materials, i.e., the importance of creating a circular economy through recycling markets. He noted that recycling is a three-step process – collection and processing, manufacturing new products, and using the new products – and that while we do a good job at collection and processing, we need to pay more attention to manufacturing new products and buying recycled products. Only through these efforts can Maryland expand recycling. He also noted the importance of passing the 2021 version of HB 1452 Department of the Environment – Office of Recycling – Recycling Market Development and make Maryland “Open for Recycling Business,” legislation that MRN supports.
Miller testified on behalf of the Montgomery County’s Aiming for Zero Waste Task Force regarding the importance of organics recovery in reducing the amount of materials going to disposal. Miller chaired the seven-member Task Force which was created to develop a new solid waste plan for Montgomery County. The Task Force made the final recommendations in April 2020, which he shared with the committee noting that successful organics recovery and processing requires a strong state regulatory structure as well as a strong processing infrastructure and solid markets for its end products. As an MRN board member, Miller noted MRN’s support of the HB 589 – Solid Waste Management – Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion – Food Residuals, and its continued support of legislation focused on expanding organics recovery and end markets in the coming session.
About MRN Legislative Committee
The MRN Legislative Committee advocates on behalf of the Maryland recycling community to ensure that legislative initiatives achieve their stated goals in a cost- and time-effective manner without creating unintended consequences that hobble our mission to promote a healthy, sustainable environment. Each legislative session, the Committee meets with legislators and provides comments and levels of support for applicable bills. It is through the Committee’s excellent work that MRN has been given a voice on these issues.