American City & County Magazine Recyclable materials processing stimulates more than $100 million in industrial sales and creates more than 1,290 jobs in Iowa, according to a new study to help the state reach its waste reduction goals.
The Economic Impacts of Recycling, published by R.W. Beck, Minneapolis, and sponsored by Recycle Iowa, at-tributes this revenue to a growing recyclables market and the employment opportunities in the industries that use these materials.
The study's objectives were two-fold: 1) Measure the current economic im-pacts of recycling ac-tivities (collectors, processors, brokers, end-users and recycling equipment manufacturers) on Iowa employment, income and tax revenue. And, 2) identify specific recyclable material market development opportunities that benefit Iowa's economy.
Using the Iowa Re-cycling Directory and several supplemental lists, the R.W. Beck project team identified a master list of recycling businesses and communities in Iowa.
More than 500 entities from the list were surveyed on the following information:
* name, locations and contact person;
* recycling activities conducted;
* quantities of materials handled;
* material pricing;
* employee and payroll information; and
* perceived barriers and drivers to recycling in Iowa.
The survey received a 25 percent response. The information was from calendar year 1995 and was used to complete an Iowa re-cyclable materials process flow and as data for the economic and fiscal impacts analysis.
The analysis re-vealed that processing recyclables impacts the state's economy more than any other part of its recycling industry. In fact, more than 650 processing jobs existed in Iowa in 1995. These jobs and the resulting product sales generated more than 1,290 total jobs and $100.3 million total industrial sales statewide.
The 1995 fiscal benefits from processing were $3.9 million in local governmental revenue and $2.4 million in state governmental revenue. And, for every processing job created, one additional job is created in the re-maining economy. Also, for every $1 generated in this area, an additional 97 Cents is generated in the remaining economy.
End-use manufacturers, on the other hand, provide the greatest economic value to Iowa's economy. In 1995, this value reached $359.5 million in total income and supplied 8,800 jobs.
When measuring income, jobs and added value, the consulting team discovered that processing old corrugated containers (OCC), recyclable paper (old newspapers, high grade and mixed) and plastics as compared to other recyclable materials was the most economically viable - OCC and mixed paper providing the greatest business opportunities.
In addition, the survey discovered that the end-use of high-grade office paper is the most viable recycling market development business opportunity. Most of the high-grade white paper collected from offices and schools currently is marketed out-of-state.
Further study was recommended to assess the potential of processing and marketing various recycled plastics.
For more information or to receive a copy of Iowa's Economic Impacts of Recycling Study, contact Margo Un-derwood, Director, Recycle Iowa, 200 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50309. (515) 242-4755. Fax: (515) 242-4749. E-Mail: munderwo@ ided.state.ia.us
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