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For Immediate Release
June 5, 2014

South Carolina's recycling rate increases for the fourth consecutive year

COLUMBIA, S.C.- The state's municipal solid waste (MSW) recycling rate increased for the fourth straight year, according to a report released today by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

"The recycling numbers reflect the hard work that local governments and businesses are doing to recover more material," said Kent Coleman, director of DHEC's Division of Mining and Solid Waste Management. "Recycling is a way of life for more and more residents and businesses that understand the environmental and economic benefits of this simple action."

The state's MSW recycling rate improved to 31.5 percent between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 from the previous year's rate of 29.5 percent. Overall, the amount of MSW recycled increased 142,860 tons to more than 1.3 million tons last year.

On average, each South Carolinian recycled 1.59 pounds per person per day - up from 1.44 pounds per person per day from the previous year - or more than 580 pounds per year.

Recycling saves energy, conserves resources, helps prevent pollution and lessens the need to build landfills. It also plays a significant role in the state's economy, according to Coleman. South Carolina is home to more than 500 recycling businesses that provide more than 21,000 jobs.

"We're doing well, but we need to continue to improve," Coleman said. "We're still sending about 70 percent of our waste to landfills - much of which could have been recycled by businesses that need the material."

To access the report, visit www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Recycling/DataReports/.  

For media inquiries:
Jim Beasley - (803) 898-7769
Email - beaslejc@dhec.sc.gov

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