INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) - The Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) has requested the full reinstatement of Indiana's recycling fund, 90 percent of which was frozen in 2009 after a state budget crisis.
"It is time to bring back these important grant funds which are designed to invest in Indiana's recycling infrastructure," IRC Executive Director Carey Hamilton said. "From grants to Indiana's manufacturers for processing equipment or to community collection and public education programs, investing these dollars will result in significant economic activity while providing programs that Hoosiers want."
In January the IRC sent a funding reinstatement request letter signed by business, industry and trade groups to Governor Mike Pence and recently, the IRC met with the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee to make the same request.
Alcoa, a global aluminum manufacturer with more than 3,200 employees in Indiana (including Lafayette), was an early advocate of reinstating the recycling fund.
"Alcoa strongly supports this request to reinstate Indiana's recycling fund. Recycling is both an environmental and business priority for our company. We believe that new investments in recycling programs and infrastructure will result in higher aluminum recycling rates which in turn will save energy, save resources and create jobs," said Beth Schmitt, Director of Recycling for Alcoa.
The IRC says Indiana is second in glass production after California, and the state's glass processors and manufacturers, as well as fiberglass insulation manufacturers, fully support an increase in state funding for recycling.
Perpetual Recycling Solutions, a post-consumer plastics processing company in Richmond, Ind., and a state recycling grant recipient, has also expressed strong support for this request.
According to company CEO David Bender, "In 2011, Perpetual Recycling Solutions leveraged a $50,000 recycling grant along with a $30 million investment in a new PET plastic processing facility in Richmond. We have already created 75 jobs and hope to expand. However, expansion requires Indiana to capture more of its PET plastic feedstock - more than one billion of PET soda and water bottles along with 250 million PET plastic salad bowls, fruit containers and cups that today are going into Indiana's landfills."
In its funding request, the IRC said recycling is a job maker. A 2011 study from the Tellus Institute determined that increasing the nation's recycling rate from 33 percent to 75 percent by 2030 would create 1.5 million new jobs.
"Only with strategic economic development investments in recycling infrastructure and programs can we hope to fully realize this job creation potential for Indiana," Hamilton said.
The Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that was formed in 1989 to support waste reduction, reuse, composting and recycling activities in Indiana. The IRC's members include state and local governments, business, industry, not-for-profits and individuals. Visit the IRC website here.
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