JUNE 2011

The story of recycling told

PWIA and the RMC jointly sponsored the Philadelphia Recycling Industries Congress in April in City Hall.

Robert Bylone, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC), and Tim O’Donnell, President of the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association(PWIA), display Citations received from Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter and the Philadelphia City Council in honor of the Philadelphia Recycling Industries Congress.

PWIA represents the supply side of the industry – the larger companies in the waste industry that collect and process recyclables and are investing heavily in new facilities and technologies. For example, Waste Management and Republic Services, both national companies with a strong presence throughout Pennsylvania, attended the Philadelphia Congress on behalf of PWIA.

The RMC works more so with the demand side – companies that use recycled materials and seek to expand markets for products made from recycled materials. Among the companies the RMC invited to the congress were Re Community, a materials recovery facility; Kuusakoski Philadelphia and Eforce Compliance, both electronics scrap processors; Revolution Recovery, a demolition waste management and recycling company; and Two Particular Acres, a producer of organic compost and mulch.

“Recycling was once considered the province mainly of environmentalists. Now, however, the private sector is driving growth,” said Tim O’Donnell, president of the PWIA. “With the recent addition of a Waste Management single-stream recycling plant that just opened in Philadelphia, private companies have now invested more than $87 million in new recycling facilities and technologies in Pennsylvania in just the last several years.”

“Meanwhile,” Robert Bylone of PWIA said, “the number of companies finding new uses for recycled materials is rapidly expanding and driving job growth not only in Philadelphia but also statewide.”

The Philadelphia recycling congress was a spinoff of the first-ever Pennsylvania Recycling Industries Congress, held in the Capitol in Harrisburg.

According to a PWIA study, the private-sector waste industry contributes $3 billion a year to the Pennsylvania economy and accounts for 31,500 jobs. A study by the Northeast Recycling Council found that 3,800 establishments in Pennsylvania connected to recycling or reuse and remanufacturing generated 52,316 jobs with an annual payroll of $2.2 billion.