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 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:
Source: "The Economic Impact of the Recycling Industry in South Carolina" April 2014
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.
There are many steps you can take. Here are a few fundamental steps to help make your recycling program successful.
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.
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.
In addition, the Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling provides grant funding for schools as well as colleges and universities.