Sen. Tom Carper, co-founder of the Senate Recycling Caucus and top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, visited Dover High School on Nov. 15 to learn more about the school’s recycling program on America Recycles Day 2019.

A resolution led by Sens. Carper and Recycling Caucus co-chair John Boozman, R-Arkansas, recognizing America Recycles Day was approved unanimously Nov. 14 by the Senate.

Every Wednesday, a group of up to two dozen students at Dover High School, who are part of the “Teen Vision” community service group, spend more than half an hour of their free time between classes recycling a wide variety of items used at the school.

“These students are making every day America Recycles Day. Recycling is a great thing everyone can do on a daily basis to protect the environment and preserve our Earth’s limited resources,” said Carper. “In Delaware, more recycling can go a long way toward keeping our beaches clean and safe from litter that harms wildlife and could jeopardize our state’s multi-million dollar tourism industry. As the American recycling industry faces new and evolving challenges, Sen. Boozman and all the members of the bipartisan Senate Recycling Caucus are dedicated to promoting and advancing solutions that will encourage more recycling.”

“The senators in D.C. could learn a thing or two from the senators of Dover High,” said Carper. “With more young leaders like this, the future of our planet is getting brighter and brighter. I applaud these students for their dedication towards conserving resources and keeping Delaware beautiful.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, just 21% of recyclable waste is recycled. The American recycling industry is valued at approximately $200 billion, and it’s estimated that diverting 75% of U.S. waste from landfills and incineration to recycling by 2030 would create 2.3 million jobs. A recent study from the World Economic Forum predicts that unless waste management and recycling methods change significantly, the world is on track to have plastic pollution outweigh fish in the world’s oceans by 2050.

Carper and Boozman spoke Nov. 14 on the Senate floor about recycling’s impact on economic growth and environmental quality, noting that the practice creates jobs and prevents the need for the extraction of new materials. Earlier that week, Carper recorded an audio message encouraging Delawareans to recycle.

The Senate Recycling Caucus is a bipartisan group of 26 senators engaged with environmental and industry stakeholders to find ways the federal government can more effectively encourage responsible recycling practices throughout the country. In 2019, the caucus has held four briefings to hear about the state of recycling in America and discuss ways in which the federal government can encourage more recycling.