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Pennsylvania Awards $3.2 Million in Municipal Recycling Grants
Harrisburg, PA— On behalf of Governor Edward G. Rendell, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty announced more than $3.2 million in Recycling Performance Grants to 147 Pennsylvania communities for their recycling efforts in 2002.
“These grants reward communities for creating and managing successful recycling programs,” Secretary McGinty said. “Local officials are encouraged to use this money to support even stronger municipal recycling programs and develop new markets for the material. Recycling benefits all Pennsylvanians by conserving natural resources and landfill space, providing jobs and generating billions of dollars in revenue.”
DEP has awarded about $7 million in Recycling Performance Grants to 329 communities for materials recycled in 2002, with about 450 applications still to be processed. The grants are awarded from the Recycling Fund, which is financed by a $2-a-ton fee on all materials disposed of in landfills in Pennsylvania. The Recycling Fund was established under Act 101 of 1988. The fee was extended through 2008 with passage of Act 175 in 2002.
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 of these establishments total $18.4 billion. The indirect benefits total $1.8 billion and tax receipts are estimated at $305 million annually.
Secretary McGinty recently announced the creation of the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center 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.