May 12 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed an interactive map of recycling markets that highlights existing recycling infrastructure, per capita generation and recycling of post-consumer materials, and other relevant market factors. The map visually presents data estimates across various phases of the recycling process, including generation, collection, sortation, and end use. Through this document, the Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) is soliciting public comments on the accuracy and completeness of the data, ease of use, graphics, and recommendations on future updates of the map. EPA will collect and analyze the public comments to use as inputs for the next update of the map. Comments must be received on or before June 26, 2023.
EPA has developed an interactive map of recycling markets that highlights existing recycling infrastructure, per capita generation and recycling of post-consumer materials, and other relevant market factors. By providing a comprehensive resource for understanding opportunities related to post-consumer materials management, this map can help develop and strengthen primary and secondary markets for materials, support cleaner communities by reducing the amount of plastic and other waste entering landfills and the marine environment, and provide opportunities to address climate change by diverting more materials from landfills. The map visually presents data estimates across various phases of the recycling process, including generation, collection, sortation, and end use. This new resource supports implementation of the National Recycling Strategy (https://www.epa.gov/recyclingstrategy),
the Save our Seas 2.0 Act, and the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling (SWIFR) grant program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL (https://www.epa.gov/infrastructure
Using publicly available information, EPA populated the map with the locations of 15 different types of recycling and other municipal solid waste (MSW) infrastructure, such as material recovery facilities, anaerobic digesters, composting facilities, glass recycling facilities, MSW landfills, and transfer stations. Using publicly available data from the Ball Corporation, U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, EPA tools including the State Measurement Program and Wasted Food Report, and materials management reports from states and regions, the map also displays 16 types of recyclable material generated and recycled per U.S. zip code, including aluminum, cardboard, electronics, food waste, glass, paper, plastics #1–7, steel cans, tires, textiles, yard trimmings, and wood.
The map also includes specific, publicly available information about facilities in the recycling system, including facility names, addresses, counties, phone numbers, emails, websites, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, infrastructure types, and feedstocks for each facility, where available.
The tool can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
-- Assisting developers with recycling infrastructure site selection.
-- Visualizing the distribution of available recycled material generated by geographic region to inform facility development and expansion sites, including environmental justice considerations.
-- Identifying recycled material feedstocks for circular economy entrepreneurs.
-- Developing or expanding hub-and-spoke collection systems to help provide economies of scale to rural recycling programs.
-- Aiding local governments in designing recycling programs by estimating gaps in required recycling capacity.
EPA is soliciting public comments on the accuracy and completeness of the data, ease of use, graphics, and recommendations on future updates of the map. EPA will analyze the public comments to use as inputs for the next update of the tool. The specific public comment questions are:
1. Accuracy and Completeness of the Data -- Do the data reflect recycling infrastructure, end markets and market factors in your location accurately? Are the recycled materials tonnage estimations consistent with your knowledge of your geographical area? Are there any missing facilities, end markets, or other layers within the scope of this map that EPA should add?
2. Ease of Use -- Does the structure of the map features, layers, and overlays make sense? Is the interface intuitive? How easy or difficult is it to navigate the various icons and features? Are the underlying datasets easy to access and download?
3. Graphics -- Is the map visually accessible, particularly with multiple icons and layers turned on? Do you have any recommendations on improving the visualization of the key features?
4. Future Updates -- What additional infrastructure, layers, or tools would you want to see in version 2.0 of this map?
Recycling Infrastructure and Market Opportunities Map: https://www.epa.gov/circulareconomy/recycling-infrastructure-and-market-opportunities-map
Technical Methodology https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2023-04/RIMOM_Technical_Methodology.pdf