PARIS (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday approved a law that would give people in states with the highest waste-recycling rates the right to collect waste from municipal waste pits and dump sites.
The EPA is also expected to announce rules this month for recycling waste in industrial facilities, which would also require a $15 fee for recycling and a $1 per kilogram fee for raw materials.
The agency says the new law will help reduce waste-related pollution in the United States by reducing the amount of toxic waste and other hazardous material that gets sent to landfills and polluting industrial sites.
The law, which took effect on Feb. 1, was created after President Donald Trump ordered a sweeping environmental review of the United Kingdom and other countries.
He called for an investigation into the disposal of toxic materials, including lead.
“These new laws are a step toward cleaning up the environment for the future and addressing our nation’s pollution problems,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
In 2016, the EPA estimated that the U.S. had 3,200 waste-removal sites in operation, including some that were being used to dispose of toxic substances such as lead, arsenic and mercury.
In some cases, these sites have not been cleaned up in decades.