Senate passes CHIPS bill, sparking hope microchip production will help waste equipment supply chain issues

Dive Brief:

  • The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a bill that would provide an estimated $52.7 billion for U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and fund science and technology innovations, has passed the U.S. Senate 64-33 and is soon expected to be heard in the House of Representatives. 
  • The bill could help manufacturers gain more reliable access to microchips needed for new equipment, according to National Waste & Recycling Association CEO Darrell Smith. The Solid Waste Association of North America does not take a position on the bill, but it supports efforts that could help reduce wait times for deliveries of new trucks, according to CEO David Biderman.
  • The bill would fund domestic manufacturing efforts, research and development work and education programs, according to a bill analysis from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Dive Insight:

Bipartisan passage of the CHIPS bill is a notable effort to make the United States a more competitive force in the microchip manufacturing sector, supporters said Wednesday after the Senate vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the bill the “largest investment in science, technology and advanced manufacturing in decades” and said it would alleviate supply chain issues and create jobs. 

NWRA recently urged Congress to pass the bill, saying reliable supply chains will become even more important in the near future, as “technology in the waste industry is rapidly advancing,” Smith said in a statement. Major waste and recycling companies have said long wait times for new vehicles has been an operational challenge for many months.  

CHIPS is a more recent iteration of the U.S. Innovations and Competition Act, the original version of the bill, which passed in the Senate last year but couldn’t gain traction in the House. Earlier this year, the House worked on its own version of the innovations act called the COMPETES Act.

The COMPETES bill similarly called for $52 billion for semiconductor fabrication and related research and development. It also included language from the Secure E-Waste Export and Recycling Act calling to restrict the export of “untested, non-working electronic scrap” from the United States in an effort to keep the material from being illegally dumped in other countries. E-scrap export language was not included in the final CHIPS bill.


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