US EPA Head: Biggest Wish is 90% Recycling Rate and Why

On December 20, 2011, on The Dr. Oz Show (television) Dr. Oz and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson had the following exchange at the conclusion of an interview on water safety:

Dr. Oz:

“As a last comment, if your goal—which it is—is to make the world a cleaner, healthier place, looking around, what would you do? What is the most important message you could make with us? What’s the biggest wish you have?”


“Its actually much lower tech than anyone might think.

You know, we recycle about 39% of our waste on average—the 250 million tons we generate every day.  If we would bring that number up, if we would insist on a recycling  rate in our country at 80, 85, 90 percent we would do a bunch of things:  Certainly, we would have a cleaner environment. We would save a tremendous amount of water and energy. We would create millions of jobs, because recycling, in and of itself, would become a supply chain in our country—a very domestic one.

So although it sounds simple, when you see those recycling bins–when people start to talk about recycling–think of it as a homegrown jobs program and an environmental program and an energy program and a water program all in one.”


To see the full response click on the link below. Move the timer in the control bar that pops up to 3 minutes 55 seconds.