As manufacturing activities and jobs continue to be outsourced, communities are struggling to add new, high-paying jobs to boost local economies. To tackle this problem, some local governments are shifting their focus by developing “creative economies” – economies that will attract alternative, sustainable industries to their area.
One key indicator of a creative economy is recycling.
According to the EPA’s 2016 Recycling Economic Information (REI) Report, recycling and reuse of materials creates jobs (many with higher wages than the national average) and generates local and state tax revenues. Across the United States, recycling and reuse activities accounted for 757,000 jobs, $36.6 billion in wages and $6.7 billion in tax revenue based on 2007 U.S. census data.
The report confirmed what many of us have known for decades - there are significant economic benefits to recycling.
Listed below are just a few examples of how well-managed recycling programs can create more jobs, higher tax revenues and better quality of life for members of your local community.