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An In-Depth Look at the EPA’s National Recycling Strategy

America’s recycling rate was “well below” 10% in 1970 at the inception of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told attendees of the third annual America Recycles Summit.

The establishment of the agency allowed Americans and the U.S. government to better focus on issues affecting the environment, leading to an upsurge in recycling rates in the 1990s that plateaued in the mid-30% range. The rate has remained largely stagnant since then, last measured at 35% in 2019.

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