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Economic Benefits

Recycling Provides Economic Benefits

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By converting waste into valuable products, recycling creates jobs, contributes feedstock to manufacturing, and adds significant value to the entire U.S. economy.

Recycling Means Business in Pennsylvania

  • Recycling and Reuse Establishments - 3,803
  • Recycling and Reuse Employment - 52,316 jobs
  • Annual Sales Receipts - $20.6 billion
  • Annual Payroll - $2.2 billion

Recycling Adds Value to Pennsylvania's Economy

  • Collection and processing,the first step in the recycling process, involves sorting and aggregating recyclable materials. It includes municipal and private collectors, material recovery and composting facilities, and recyclable material wholesalers. These activities employ over 10,000 people in Pennsylvania, with a payroll of $327 million and annual sales of $5.9 billion.
  • Recycling manufacturing involves the actual conversion of recyclables into products. The primary recycling manufacturers in Pennsylvania in order of magnitude are steel mills, plastic converters, paper and paperboard mills, and nonferrous metal manufacturers. Recycling manufacturing employs over 34,000 people with a payroll of almost $1.7 billion and annual sales of over $14.0 billion.
  • Reuse and remanufacturing focuses on the refurbishing and repair of products to be reused in their original form. The largest activities are retail sales of used merchandise and reuse of used motor vehicle parts. The amount of value that can be added via this process is limited because of competition from new products. Nevertheless, reuse and manufacturing contributes over 8,100 jobs, a payroll of $158 million and sales of over a half billion dollars.