NWRA, promoting safer roads, urges Congress to move on infrastructure
- In a letter from the Infrastructure Working Group (IWG), signing institutions — including the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) — called on Congressional leaders to prioritize a $1 trillion infrastructure investment over the next 10 years.
- The NWRA hopes to see "a bipartisan infrastructure package that makes our roads and bridges safer, transportation more efficient, and makes the US more competitive globally," spokesman Brandon Wright said in an email.
- The letter also asks Congress to strengthen municipal bonds, facilitate opportunity for private investment in infrastructure, and calls for increased cooperation between different levels of government and the private sector, because "no single partner can deliver a well-functioning, national U.S. infrastructure network driven by a long-term vision and funding stability."
Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals refuse collection is still the fifth-most dangerous job in the country. However, any infrastructure spending from Congress would have to fund local and municipal roads — not just highways — to truly improve safety for waste collectors, who typically do not travel on major highways. Recent data from Lytx shows that most near-misses that haulers recorded using their in-cab cameras happened at "street speeds," and off of highways.
An infrastructure bill that strengthens municipal bond programs would provide funding benefits for waste facilities, too. The new tax law kept protections for private activity bonds, for which some solid waste facilities are eligible. Smaller communities or investors who may be struggling to front the high initial costs for some solid waste management infrastructure — like anaerobic digesters — would benefit.
The latest from Washington is that Republican Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania intends to retire at the end of his term. Until then, however, Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, indicated his intention to focus his energy on getting an infrastructure bill passed. During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump made promises to boost infrastructure, and Shuster said Trump is "excited" by the bill being developed. There are few clear details, however, and it is unclear if Congress will be able to develop a plan to send to the White House before the midterms.
- Infrastructure Working Group IWG Letter
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