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Arkansas Closes In On Goal of 40% Recycling Rate
Jonesboro, AK— Recycling is gaining ground in Arkansas with industry, communities and citizens helping move the state toward a goal of recycling 40 percent of the waste they generate by 2005, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Marcus Devine announced.
Arkansans recycled almost 1.4 million tons of solid waste in 2002 – 34 percent of the waste that businesses and individuals produced, Devine said, citing information from the newly released State of Recycling in Arkansas report. The annual report to the governor recaps landfill disposal and recycling totals for the previous year as well as statewide efforts to promote waste reduction and recycling.
ADEQ coordinates the state’s recycling efforts and administers a grant program that provides financial assistance to community recycling programs. ADEQ helps businesses invest in recycling by providing technical assistance, administering a recycling equipment tax credit and offering low-interest loans for waste reduction projects.
Devine spoke at an America Recycles Day program sponsored by the Craighead County Regional Solid Waste Management District. The program highlighted opportunities and efforts in industrial recycling.
“More and more Arkansas businesses are realizing that recycling and reducing waste benefit the bottom line as well as the environment,” Devine said. “Recycling reduces landfill disposal costs and often earns money from the wastes that are sold. Industries throughout the state have practical options for recycling numerous wastes. Many Arkansas communities, in turn, understand that providing recycling opportunities can entice businesses to locate there.”
Recycling is helping offset the unfortunate reality that while we’re recycling more, we’re also creating more waste to begin with. Arkansans generated more than 4 million tons of solid waste in 2002, up from 3.6 million tons the year before. What’s not recycled is landfilled – at a significant cost to communities, businesses and individuals.
Recycling over a third of that waste saved more than $40 million in landfill disposal costs, according to the 2002 report. Recycling helps lengthen the life of landfills, conserves natural resources and reduces energy costs.