Thursday, September 28, 2017

PA Recycling Marketplace Contributes Over 66,000 Jobs, $22.6 Billion To State’s Economy

Pennsylvania’s Act 101 Recycling Program has resulted in developing a Recycling Marketplace in the state responsible for generating over 66,000 jobs directly involved in recycling or using recycled materials to make products that contributed $22.6 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy in 2015, according to a new economic impact study released by the PA Recycling Markets Center.
The study found almost 6,400 companies in the Commonwealth were involved in recycling or relied on the over 17.4 million tons of recycled materials collected locally as feedstock for their businesses in 2014; collection programs supported by the Act 101 Recycling Fund.
An additional almost 110,000 indirect and induced jobs could be attributed to Pennsylvania’s Recycling Marketplace in 2015, according the study.
These jobs numbers compare favorably with the Marcellus Shale drilling industry in Pennsylvania which directly employed about 28,926 people in 2015, according to the Department of Labor and Industry.  The Marcellus Shale Coalition says direct and indirect employment amounted to 243,000 in 2014.  This compares to a total of 176,000 direct and indirect jobs for the Recycling Marketplace, according to the Center’s new study.
Today 94 percent of the state’s population has access to recycling services in over 1,900 municipalities-- 617 municipalities have voluntarily developed curbside recycling programs, 440 are required to have curbside recycling and 873 communities have access to drop-off recycling locations, according to DEP.
70 percent of the municipal recycling programs use private haulers for residential recycling and the private sector operates 56 of the 84 materials recycling processing facilities in the state.
The average labor income per direct job within the state’s Recycling Marketplace was almost $73,000 in 2015 and the average labor income across the direct, indirect and induced categories of jobs was $64,500, approximately 23 percent above the state average, according to the study.
The study also found the Recycling Marketplace in Pennsylvania generated $1.7 billion in state and local taxes in 2015.
Click Here for a copy of the study.
Threats To PA’s Recycling Marketplace
There are two big threatens facing the very foundation of Pennsylvania’s $22.6 billion Recycling Marketplace-- local recycling collection programs--
-- The House Republican budget proposes to take $70 million-- nearly 2 years’ worth of income-- from the Recycling Fund to help balance the state’s FY 2017-18 state budget.  The move would not only jeopardize new grants to support local recycling collection programs, but would leave DEP short of funds to pay for the grants already approved for communities.
-- Reauthorization of the $2/ton Recycling Fee-- Senate Bill 646 (Killion-R-Delaware) is still stuck in the House, after passing the Senate in near record time.  The fee is due to sunset on January 1, 2020, but DEP has already stopped accepting applications for new Act 101 Local Recycling Implementation Grants because grantees are reimbursed for what they spend over 2 or 3 years.
County commissioners, township supervisors, the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania and many local communities and municipalities have weighed in against raiding the Recycling Fund.
At the same time, there is overwhelming support for reauthorizing the $2/ton Recycling Fee from communities, local governments and the waste management industry.
Time will tell how these issues will be resolved by the General Assembly and Gov. Wolf and whether the actions of the General Assembly will threaten the foundation of a $22.6 billion industry in Pennsylvania.
For more information on programs, initiatives, technical assistance and upcoming events related to using recycled materials in your business, visit the PA Recycling Markets Center website.
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s recycling program, visit DEP’s Recycling webpage.

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