Harrisburg, Pa. -- Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty announced that 181 Pennsylvania communities will share $3.76 million in recycling performance grants for recycling efforts in 2002. The Department of Environmental protection (DEP) awarded $18.8 million to 715 communities last year for recycling efforts in 2001. The DEP is encouraging officials who receive the money to use it for strengthening recycling operations in their areas. The grants are backed by a recycling fund supported by a $2 per ton fee on all materials disposed in Pennsylvania landfills. According to the DEP, recycling is a $23 billion industry for the state.