Recycled trash delivered $3.4 billion worth of economic treasures to Minnesotans' wallets last year, according to a new Minnesota Pollution Control Agency report issued to state legislators Monday.
The report shows that the conversion of old or used products into new ones created 60,215 jobs, $3.4 billion in wages and $26 billion worth of sales last year.
That's an increase of about 1,700 jobs from 2011, the last year for which the MPCA reported totals to Minnesota legislators, as required by law.
Metal-casting firms, steel foundries, box makers and pallet-reusing warehouses were among the Minnesota sectors significantly boosting the use of recycled goods in their operations.
The MPCA's 2015 analysis and report produced some nice surprises, said Wayne Gjerde, the agency's recycling market development coordinator.