HB 0217 - Task Force on Recycling Policy and Recycling and Waste Systems in Maryland

HB 0217 - Task Force on Recycling Policy and Recycling and Waste Systems in Maryland

Position: Support

Committee: House Environment and Transportation

The Maryland Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington, which together encompass over one million Marylanders.

House Bill 217 This bill establishes the Task Force on Recycling Policy and Recycling and Waste Systems in Maryland to review the Maryland Recycling Act (MRA) and study the recycling and waste systems in Maryland. The task force must make recommendations on how to update MRA to focus on the recycling and diversion of materials to help achieve the State’s recycling and greenhouse gas reduction goals and the feasibility of implementing regional recycling and waste disposal facilities, including (1) the locations of possible facility sites, as specified; (2) cost-sharing opportunities; (3) developing service networks; and (4) advancing principles of zero waste. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) must provide staff for the task force. Task force members may not receive compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for expenses.

In its pastoral statement on the “World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation” (USCCB, 2016), the United States conference of Catholic Bishops cited, “We would like to suggest a few tangible ways in which we can turn our prayer into witness.

In Laudato Si', Pope Francis reminds us of the "nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions," and suggests various practical steps such as recycling, turning off unnecessary lights and using public transportation (no. 211).

"So many of these 'daily actions' occur in the context of our families and in our places of worship and work. We can begin, in these ordinary settings, to care in deeper ways for the good things God has given us. This attitude of stewardship, forged in daily life, will, in turn, allow us to participate in the greater national and international efforts to care for the Earth and for future generations.”

The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on House Bill 217.