Increased recycling not only benefits the environment, but could boost jobs in Indiana. That’s according to a recent Ball State study.
The Indiana Recycling Coalition commissioned the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University to conduct the research.
It found Hoosiers send about 6 million tons of material to landfills and incinerator facilities each year. More than 90 percent of that trash could be recycled or composted recyclable, and 66 percent could be recovered and used as raw material for Indiana manufacturers.
The study also predicts reusing that material could create almost 10,000 new jobs.
The Indiana Recycling Coalition executive director Carey Hamilton says encouraging recycling is good economic policy.
“We are actually capturing and reprocessing for manufacturing that material here in Indiana,” Hamilton said. “So they are local jobs. Obviously ten thousands jobs are a lot of jobs. Adding those jobs to our economy would be very powerful in terms of positive economic activity.”
Hamilton says if state lawmakers act to force local governments to recycle more, the jobs could become available.
“They range from landfill bans, tipping fees, increased fees, deposit laws, and other requirements for communities,” said Hamilton, who adds that money would also help. “The IRC believes Indiana must reinstate the existing state recycling grant fund,” which Hamilton says brings in about $6 million per year, much of which she says isn’t spent.
Network Indiana contributed to this report.