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January 2004

181 Communities Earn Grants in Pennsylvania for Recycling Efforts

Harrisburg, PA— On behalf of Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty announced more than $3.76 million in Recycling Performance Grants to 181 Pennsylvania communities for their recycling efforts in 2002.

“These grants reward a job well done by communities,” Secretary McGinty said. “Recycling has a direct impact on Pennsylvania’s economy by conserving natural resources and landfill space, providing jobs and generating billions of dollars in revenues. I encourage local officials to use this money to support even stronger municipal recycling programs that will divert the maximum amount of material from the waste stream.”

DEP awarded $18.8 million in Recycling Performance Grants to 715 communities last year for recycling efforts in 2001. The grants are financed by the Recycling Fund, which is supported by a $2 per ton fee on all materials disposed of in landfills in Pennsylvania. Act 175 of 2002 extended the Recycling Fund fee through 2008.

Recycling is a $23 billion industry in Pennsylvania, paying $2.9 billion in wages to 81,322 people employed in 3,247 recycling and reuse industries statewide. The annual sales receipts of these establishments totaled $18.4 billion last year. The indirect benefits totaled $1.8 billion and tax receipts were estimated at $305 million annually.

Secretary McGinty recently announced the creation of the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC) to encourage the continued growth and economic health of the state’s recycling industries and to make the state’s recycling programs self-sufficient. The mission of the RMC will be to expand and develop more secure and robust markets for recovered secondary materials, stimulate demand for products with recycled content, and research and maintain up-to-date market trend data. The RMC will be the lead organization for the development of recycling markets in Pennsylvania, providing support to generators, haulers, processors, manufacturers and end-users of recycled materials and products.

DEP is soliciting applications from all nonprofit corporations, including but not limited to businesses, environmental groups and trade organizations, to establish, support and oversee creation of the RMC. The department is encouraging the formation of partnerships among these organizations, or between organizations and the private sector, in order to meet the requirements of the RMC grant. Grant applications must be submitted by March 5, 2004.

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