Business and Economics

BSU Study Shows More Recycling = More Jobs

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December 4, 2013 — A new study conducted by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University — commissioned by the Indiana Recycling Coalition — shows that Indiana’s recycling industry is a grossly underutilized jobs resource.

Today, 66-percent of what gets thrown away by Hoosiers could be recovered and used as feedstock (raw material) by Indiana manufacturers. Another 17-percent of waste could be turned into valuable compost.

The Indiana Recycling Coalition wants to change that – to recover these resources – not only for the sake of the environment, but also for the sake of delivering more jobs to Indiana residents.

Indiana Recycling Coalition Executive Director Carey Hamilton told Lakeshore Public Radio that one of those companies that can benefit from increased recycling is Pratt Industries, which already operates one of the nation’s largest cardboard box making plants in Valparaiso.  “Hoosiers today are disposing of 1.67-million tons of paper.  That is paper that companies like Pratt, and in particular Pratt, really need to function in the competitive global marketplace.”

Pratt Industries is currently building a new paper mill next to its current Valparaiso operation, making a $200-million investment in northwest Indiana

Because the collection and landfilling or incineration of discarded waste employs far fewer people than the collection, sorting and processing of recyclable and compostable materials, The Bowen Center said a shift to increased recycling could deliver thousands of jobs.


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