Congressman Keith Ellison (Democrat-Minnesota) introduced into the United States House of Representatives H.R. 1034 which establishes a grant program for communities attempting to attain a “zero waste” standard.

H.R. 1034 is titled “The Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act” (“Act”).

The legislation would authorize the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to award grants for municipal solid waste prevention, reuse, and recycling program development. Funding would be provided to the communities for infrastructure, technology, and community outreach.

A representative of the American Sustainable Business Council endorsed the bill stating:

The bill encourages not only the recycling of materials in products, but also a re-design of the product itself so that it uses less raw materials. We applaud the proposed federal grant program that would provide funds to local governments and businesses to invest in waste reduction, prevention, reuse, and recycling initiatives. Zero waste, as practiced by cities across America, is a smart, low-cost solution for businesses and communities concerned about the financial impact waste has on the environment.

H.R. 1034 outlines prerequisites for applicants to apply and various factors that would be considered in determining priority for such awards.

The bill has been referred to the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.

A copy of Congressman Ellison’s statement regarding the Act and a copy of the Act itself can be downloaded here.