Pennsylvania EPA Establishes Recycling Market Development Center

Harrisburg, PA - On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Secretary David E. Hess announced that DEP will establish a state Recycling Market Center to help businesses and communities recycle efficiently and competitively.

"Pennsylvania is a national leader in recycling- already, we recycle 32.6 percent of the waste we generate," Hess said. "But businesses need to play a bigger role if we're going to meet Gov. Ridge's goal of recycling 35 percent of the state's waste by 2003. The Recycling Market Center will help businesses and recyclers reach that goal

. "More important, the recycling industry contributes more than $21.3 million to the economy. And more than 3,200 businesses with 81,322 employees depend on recycling markets. Clearly, maintaining and expanding recycling markets are essential for their livelihood, the economy -- and the environment.

"The idea for a Recycling Market Center came from a summit we held with industry, recyclers and local governments."

To help get the recycling market center started, DEP is seeking a consultant to develop a comprehensive plan designed to bolster recycling market development in Pennsylvania. Proposals are due July 6.

The work will involve defining, planning and, if DEP chooses, implementing a business plan to provide recycling market development assistance to Pennsylvania businesses. The consultant will work with DEP's recycling program, and the business plan will enhance current recycling and market- development initiatives.

"While businesses must play a bigger role in Pennsylvania's recycling, we recognize that they also need to be profitable," Hess said. "By developing this business plan, we will give the state's business owners the tools to reduce waste and increase recycling while finding ways to make money."

DEP expects that the business plan will identify opportunities and ways to cultivate reliable market-development information through the following:

  • A compilation of economic, political, regulatory, societal and technological data;
  • An interpretation of how current and anticipated events will impact business practices and relationships among solid-waste, scrap and manufacturing industries;
  • Identification of business practices that need to be adjusted; and
  • Developing good communication skills with the recycling industry.

Once implemented, the Recycling Market Center will provide services that include developing and critiquing busi-ness plans for recycling businesses; connecting suppliers and consumers of recycled materials, enhanced material and industry-specific technical or engi-neering assistance; and expanding re-search of recycling market development.

"This is very specific work that government historically has not had the expertise to do on its own," Hess said. "Yet this kind of assistance is necessary to improve recycling for businesses."

Currently, a Buy Recycled Business Representative is visiting companies across the state to reintroduce them to the financial savings and product quality of products made with recycled content. As part of the visits, businesses receive a free Buy Recycled Guide for Pennsylvania Businesses.

For more information on how to submit a request for proposal, or to receive a copy, contact DEP's Division of Waste Minimization and Planning at (717) 787-7382.

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