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October 2004

$200,000 in Recycling Coordinator Reimbursement Grants Awarded in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA— On behalf of Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty awarded $200,849 in County Recycling Coordinator Reimbursement Grants to nine counties to help offset salary and expenses for county recycling coordinators.

“County recycling coordinators are the link between DEP and local municipal recycling and waste reduction programs,” Secretary McGinty said. “They compile yearly waste and recycling reports, organize electronics and household hazardous waste collections, create and maintain waste management plans, and offer a range of other support activities to local communities. They are a vital part of the continued success of recycling in Pennsylvania.”

County Recycling Coordinator Reimbursement Grants are funded by the Recycling Fund, which is supported by a $2-a-ton fee on all materials disposed of at municipal waste landfills and resource recovery facilities in Pennsylvania. The grants reimburse counties for up to 50 percent of the salary and authorized expenses incurred by county recycling coordinators.

Recycling has become one of the engines that drive Pennsylvania’s economy. More than 3,247 recycling and reuse businesses and organizations made more than $18.4 billion in gross annual sales, paid $30.5 million in taxes and provided jobs for more than 81,322 employees at an annual payroll of about $2.9 billion.

Pennsylvania’s recycling and reuse industry leads the nation in employment, payroll and sales numbers. However, the continued success of Pennsylvania’s recycling program will depend in large part on the Governor’s proposed $800 million bond initiative to expand and enhance Growing Greener. The initiative was not passed before the Legislature recessed for summer.

Part of that plan would provide an additional $25 million per year to the Recycling Fund to assist municipalities with operating existing programs that give more than 10 million Pennsylvanians access to recycling. The money also will help 42 municipalities newly mandated to recycle as a result of the 2000 federal census.

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