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SC Recycling Info:
(800) 768-7348 (toll-free)

Information for Local Decision Makers Concerning Recycling

Recycling Saves Money

By recycling more, how much more could your community save?

It is estimated that in South Carolina nearly 448,000 tons of easily recycled material - aluminum cans, cardboard, office paper, newspaper, plastic bottles and glass bottles and jars - was sent for landfill disposal in FY13.

Using the states average MSW tipping fee of $39 per ton, local governments spent more than $17.5 million to dispose of this material. Even worse, about $60 million in potential revenue from the sale of these recyclables was lost based on the average revenue received per ton by local governments for each of these types of material.

Recycling Works

Recycling is good business in South Carolina. The state's recycling industry has a $13 billion impact on the state's economy according to a study conducted by the College of Charleston in 2014. The study shows that the recycling industry, which is comprised of more than 500 companies, is directly responsible for:

  • More than 22,000 jobs;
  • $2.7 billion in annual labor income; and
  • $329 million in state and local taxes each year.

Source: "The Economic Impact of the Recycling Industry in South Carolina" April 2014

Does recycling impact your budget, your community?

Recycling more than 1.3 million tons of material saved local governments more than $53 million in avoided disposal costs in FY13 and more than $316 million since FY07. Local governments reported earning more than $9 million in revenue from the sale of recyclables in FY13 and more than $67 million since FY07. It is important to note that this amount does not include all revenue received from the sale of recyclables as many local programs did not report.

What can you do?

There are many steps you can take. Here are a few fundamental steps to help make your recycling program successful.

  • Understand that recycling has economic and environmental benefits to your community.
  • Support your recycling program through appropriate funding and resources.
  • Consider other program funding options (e.g., Pay-As-You-Throw programs) or incentives that
  • encourage recycling.
  • Work with other local governments to improve programs in your county or region. Working together
  • may allow programs to expand and save money.
  • Lead by example. Set up recycling programs in government buildings.
  • Buy recycled. Implement an environmentally preferred purchasing policy for your local government

We Can Help

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control's Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling provides technical assistance, education/outreach programs as well as grant funding to S.C. local governments.

  • Technical assistance: The Office offers technical assistance to local governments on a variety of recycling issues. Specific programs include the S.C. Smart Business Recycling Program, the S.C. Green Hospitality Program and Smart Gardener.
  • Education/Outreach: The Office provides:
    • education programs for schools and teachers
    • printed materials
    • graphic design services
    • a variety of training programs

    The S.C. Recycling Professionals Certification Program, which specifically targets local governments, covers a variety of topics and issues as well as provides the tools and resources to successfully manage local recycling programs.

  • Grant Funding: The office provides three grant programs for local governments:
    1. Solid Waste
    2. Used Oil
    3. Waste Tire

    In addition, the Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling provides grant funding for schools as well as colleges and universities.

To learn more on any program listed above or for additional information on the economic and environmental benefits of recycling, visit or call 1-800-768-7348.