Recycling now brings in $13 billion annually to the state’s economy, according to the study compiled by Dr. Frank Hefner. Recycling also created 44 percent more jobs in that period, to a total of 54,121, a news release stated.
In addition, the report states that recycling has generated $329 million in state and local taxes.
Data for the study came from direct survey information from recycling companies as well as economic modeling. The report was commissioned by a partnership of the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and New Carolina and RecyclonomicsSC, a non-profit organization that promotes recycling as a way to improve the economy.
Among survey respondents, 64 percent said they are planning an expansion in 2014.
The state's recycling rate also increased to 31 percent in 2013 from 22 percent in 2009, with each South Carolinian on average recycling 1.59 pounds per day.
"While many recognize the environmental benefit of recycling, these results show the strong connection between recycling and business," said Bobby Hitt, secretary of commerce for South Carolina.