February 03, 2012
Recycling event celebrates industry as economic driver, job creator
Recycling leaders gather at Statehouse to kick off Recycling Industry Legislative Day; announce new jobs, economic impact numbers, and ongoing public-policy efforts.
Columbia, SC—Today at the Statehouse, business, non-profit, and government leaders as well as concerned citizens and school children gathered to celebrate the positive economic impact of recycling in South Carolina. The theme of the event was “small changes, big returns,” highlighting how a small step of recycling provides the state large economic development opportunities.
The event was organized by the S.C. Recycling Council, which, at the event, announced the launch of the RecyclonomicsSC initiative. RecyclonomicsSC, with the support of New Carolina’s cluster strategy, brings together businesses and industries that use recycled materials in the manufacturing process to create new recycled-content products. The RecyclonomicsSC name and logo, unveiled at today’s event, are designed to connect recycling as a smart, environmentally-friendly strategy with the positive economic impact it brings to the state.
“The S.C. Recycling Council has made great progress in the past year on implementing their strategic plan, developing a new brand, and creating an independent organization,” said Executive Director of New Carolina George Fletcher. “The next big step is to increase the amount of material to be recycled. I think the Recycling Council will have the horsepower to do just that. "
A high point of the event included a recycling company’s announcement that it will create new jobs in South Carolina. Underscoring recycling’s presence as a growth industry in the state, Pratt Industries said it will expand its Spartanburg County operations, creating 30 new “green-collar” jobs. (See news release from the S.C. Department of Commerce at http://www.sccommerce.com/news/press-releases/pratt-industries-expands-spartanburg-county-facility).
Also at the event, S.C. Recycling Market Development Advisory Council Chair Gerry Fishbeck revealed the latest economic figures related to recycling in South Carolina. According to the S.C. Department of Commerce, the recycling industry announced $333 million in capital investment and the creation of more than 800 jobs with 15 new or existing companies investing in S.C. in 2011. Since 2006, the industry has created more than 6,000 jobs and brought more than $4 billion into the state. (The recycling industry is composed of haulers, collectors, processors, brokers, recycling equipment sales and manufacturers, and end-users or manufacturers that take recycled material feedstock and make recycled content products from them).
Companies like Climax Global Energy in Barnwell County, Be Green Packaging in Jasper County, PolyQuest, Inc. and Sonoco in Darlington County, and Tire International in Berkeley County announced investments in 2011.
“The power and growth of recycling in South Carolina is incredible,” Fishbeck said. “The more the state’s businesses, and communities recycle, the more potential South Carolina has to attract and create good jobs and reduce the number of materials going into landfills. Today, we celebrate the great strides our state is making in recycling and also recognize the huge untapped potential for growth.”
From a public-policy standpoint, recycling industry leaders expressed their continuing support for the ABC recycling bill (S.461), which passed the Senate and has moved to the House this year. The bill calls for establishments that are permitted for on-site consumption of alcohol to implement a recycling program in the next two years for plastic, corrugated cardboard, aluminum and glass. It would provide recyclable material for industry growth, would decrease waste going into land fills, and would help meet growing public demand for recycling.
Read Press Release Here
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