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May 2004

Pennsylvania Issues Municipal Recycling Performance Grants for Recycling Efforts

Harrisburg, PA— Pennsylvania’s Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty announced more than $4.2 million in performance grants to 195 Pennsylvania communities for their recycling efforts in 2002.

DEP has awarded $11.2 million in performance grants to 523 communities for recycling efforts in 2002, with about 260 applications still to be processed for that year. The formula-driven grant program is financed by the Recycling Fund, which is supported by a $2-a-ton fee on all materials disposed of in landfills in Pennsylvania.

Performance grant applications now are being accepted for 2003 recycling efforts. The deadline is Sept. 30, 2004.

Recycling has become one of the engines that drive Pennsylvania’s economy. Recycling is a $23 billion industry in the Commonwealth, 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 total $18.4 billion. The indirect benefits total $1.8 billion and tax receipts are estimated at $305 million annually.

Demonstrating that environment and economy go hand in hand, Governor Rendell’s proposed 2004-05 budget would distribute funds from an $800 million voter-approved bond issue among three areas over four years:

•$330 million for parks, open space and farmland.
•$300 million for environmental cleanup.
•$170 million to revitalize older communities.

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