The Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC), the Carolina Recycling Association (CRA), and Verallia North America hosted the first annual North Carolina Recycling Day on March 27 at the State Legislature in downtown Raleigh. This event created an opportunity to heighten awareness amongst legislators on the economic importance of recycling in North Carolina.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane opened the day by addressing the legislators about the other green aspect of recycling in North Carolina. Over the past several years, recycling has created an economic boon both locally and statewide. The mayor noted that between July 2012 and February 2013, the City of Raleigh has received $507,747, while diverting thousands of tons from the landfill. “Now that’s sustainable,” she said.
Representative Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg) discussed how the growing recycling industry is contributing to a strong economy. Job studies have shown that recycling jobs have consistently been growing since the 1990’s – even increasing by 4.8% during the last recession. North Carolina has over 700 recycling companies, ranging from single-owner companies to international corporations. These companies included suppliers, processors, and manufacturers that rely on a variety of recycled materials.
Representative Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) gave an overview of House Bill 315, which protects the North Carolina plastics industry from the harmful effects of biodegradable additives in the recycling stream. This bill was designed to require labeling on plastic bottles designed for degrading so that degradable additives are kept out of materials that will be recycled into durable goods.
Representatives from different sectors of the recycling industry were present at the inaugural event to describe first-hand the strong demand for recycling feedstock to support their business and community activities, which in turn provides jobs and state revenues while conserving natural resources. Students from Exploris Middle School were also in attendance to display the posters they created for the Recycling Day. The posters showcased recycling as an important aspect of the NC economy.
SERDC, CRA, and Verallia would like to thank our sponsors for their support: Coca-Cola Recycling, KW Plastics, Alcoa, Carton Council, Novelis, Sonoco Recycling, Resource Recycling Systems, Custom Polymers, Envision, North Carolina Beverage Association, Reflective Industries, Unifi, WasteZero, Joyce Engineering, and Umicore.
Left: Representative Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg) discussed how the growing recycling industry is contributing to a strong economy
Right: Umicore's Mark Caffarey talks with Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane about the importance of recycling for Umicore and the jobs created in NC.
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