Recycling legislation has become an important component of successful recycling programs. It is highly encouraged to research any and all possible legislative action concerning recycling within all levels of government. Continue to follow legislative changes that effect recycling and solid waste. There are laws that govern recycling/composting and waste management that affect how campus programs are operated. Additionally, the law can be helpful in supporting a campus recycling effort. Federal laws have an opportunity to affect recycling through market development in a much broader manner than state law.
Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA)
The best-known national solid waste legislation is the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 42 U.S.C. §6901 et seq. (1976) which specifies how materials need to be managed for disposal. 
Other Recycling Laws
State recycling laws usually include language that requires counties and state agencies to reduce and recycle a certain percentage of their waste stream. These laws can also include recycled product purchasing goals, bottle bills, market development, up front environmental fees for items purchased that are harmful if disposed of improperly (usually called advanced disposal fees), reporting, and grant programs.
Most federal and state laws will be in the form of unfunded mandates, so it becomes the responsibility of state and local governments to follow the new rules and figure out ways to fund programs to comply with new legislation. Money often drives decision-making on this level. Local ordinances usually describe how solid waste and recycling programs will be implemented and funded. An example of an ordinance that encourages recycling is called the pay-as-you-throw system.
Pay-as-you-throw systems require residents to pay for solid waste by the bag or by the volume of the container. Recycling usually does not require a fee. Other funding options often applied include general taxes where the amount of money paid is rolled up into a larger amount and not broken out for the consumer to see, and solid waste fees that show up as a separate line item in the property tax bill. The latter options encourage neither waste reduction nor recycling. Some communities pay private haulers directly for collection services. The private haulers usually bid on the government contract.
Many state systems of higher education and individual schools have implemented policies that require recycling waste as well as buying recycled products. These policies are often called recycling, sustainability, or environmental policies. The student policy arm, Student Government, can also have a major affect on the administration by passing bills that support starting or improving recycling programs, buying recycled products, or increasing student fees for recycling.
Though legislation is an important tool in supporting the institutionalization of recycling programs, its implementation is dependent upon the support and desire of folks willing to work toward a law's success. Passing a law does not guarantee the success of recycling. Laws of this genre must be accompanied by incentives and consequences to support the changes in action that the law is mandating. Find out if the state or local government has a recycling law. Utilize laws and policies to support campus efforts in establishing, implementing, and augmenting recycling programs. These laws have been very successful tools for establishing recycling programs at universities and colleges. Laws that require reporting are also helpful in supporting materials tracking. Tracking materials, performing cost benefit analyses, and using legislative compliance for further leverage are very powerful tools in establishing and maintaining recycling efforts.
Bottle Bill Resource Guide
US EPA Laws & Regulations A-Z Index
Raymond Communications Recycling Laws Update
Sustainable School and Campus Policies
The Talloires Declaration