State Spurs Investments, Job Creation Through Grants to Recycling Businesses

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Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 5:58 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Recycling Program recently provided $574,000 in recycling business development grants to 21 North Carolina recycling companies that are expected to create 66 jobs and generate more than $2.1 million in new, private business investments while reducing the state’s dependence on landfill disposal.

"Recycling businesses benefit the state’s long-term economic development while working to provide a cleaner environment for future generations," said DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. "The projects funded by these grants build lasting ways to divert materials from the waste stream, redirect recyclables back into the economy as manufacturing feedstock and spur job growth. It just shows that the environment and industry are not mutually exclusive."

The recycling business grantees from 17 counties, representing both large and small companies. Types of grant projects awarded include:

  • Expanding plastic processing capacity: 10 companies will increase the quantities and types of recyclable plastic they are able to process such as agricultural plastic, PVC, polystyrene and post-industrial plastic.
  • Upgrading material recovery facilities: Two companies will install glass clean-up systems, while another will install an optical sorter, these upgrades will improve material quality and processing efficiency.
  • Building recycled end-product manufacturing capacity: Two companies will manufacture new products using recycled wood waste and plastic, respectively.
  • Increasing processing capacity of other recyclable materials: Four companies will either increase electronics recycling, process tires into crumb rubber for manufacturing or increase recovery of wood waste from pallets and construction and demolition debris.
  • Expanding residential curbside recycling: Two companies will offer curbside recycling collection to new customers in rural areas.

Grants are offered each year, depending on funding availability, to reduce the flow of solid waste into landfills and strengthen the state’s recycling economy. Recipients are required to provide a minimum cash match of 50 percent of the grant award; however, the level of private investment in 2018 is expected to nearly quadruple the total grant funding. The combination of grant and private dollars will result in a $2.7 million investment in the state’s recycling infrastructure while supporting the local economy.

The Recycling Business Assistance Center in DEQ’s Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service works one-on-one with recycling companies provide technical, business, and financial assistance. Throughout the past five years, RBAC has awarded $3.3 million in grant funding to 90 recycling companies statewide. The program has led to nearly $28 million in private investment, created more than 250 new, full-time jobs and diverted an average of an additional 170,000 tons of materials each year from landfill disposal.

SOURCE: North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

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