- U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA, introduced the Trash Reduction and Sensible Handling (TRASH) Act of 2015 to restrict the flow of out-of state waste into Pennsylvania. The legislation gives all 50 states more control over importing trash, and would allow states to impose higher fees on out-of-state waste.
- The key part of the legislation would let states restrict interstate waste imports by setting higher standards for waste handling. "For example, if a State or local municipality requires certain amounts of recycling, composting, or waste reduction measures, that State would be able to restrict out-of-State waste unless the exporting State complies with the same or higher standards," according to Casey's website.
- Pennsylvania is a top waste importer. In 2014, the state accepted waste from 21 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. New Jersey sent the most, 3.5 million tons, and New York was No. 2 with 2.7 million tons.
“Pennsylvania shouldn’t be a dumping ground for trash from other states,” Casey said. Every state's residents and representatives would likely agree.
The trick is to balance the needs of all the players, including residents and the waste industry. Giving states more control over what enters the state — and at what price — seems reasonable.
Solid Waste Association of North America CEO David Biderman told Waste Dive, "We sent an Advocacy Alert to our members [on Thursday] about Senator Casey's bill and are closely monitoring the legislation."