story of recycling told
PWIA and the RMC jointly sponsored the Philadelphia
Recycling Industries Congress in April in City Hall.
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
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.