Recycling Works Newsletter Fall 2020

RBAC's quarterly newsletter discusses current topics of interest to recycling businesses, including information on financing opportunities, commodity markets and new technologies.

In the Fall 2020 Recycling Works issue:

NC Recycling Jobs Report

DEACS recently completed the 2020 Recycling Employment Study and found that North Carolina has 15,712 jobs in the recycling industry. The total estimated payroll for North Carolina recycling businesses is $703 million, and more than 43 percent of recycling businesses plan to create more jobs throughout the next two years. Private sector recycling jobs have only decreased 3.4 percent since 2015, which is a testament to the resiliency of the state’s recycling industry. No single commodity dominates the state’s recycling economy as collectors, processors and manufacturers use a variety of recyclable feedstock in their businesses. North Carolina is home to recyclers of glass, paper, plastics, metal, electronics, organics, tires, and construction and demolition debris. 

Thank you to the businesses that participated in our employment survey this spring. The full report will be released next month by NCDEQ. 

New River Tire Launches Production Line RUBBERlogix

It is important to close the loop by manufacturing new items with recycled material. North Carolina has an extensive network of such companies and will be sharing a series of examples in upcoming newsletters. Some recyclers, such as New River Tire, have been working to find new uses for the materials they already have experience processing. 

New River Tire Recycling in Pilot Mountain, N.C., has added a new segment to its operation called RUBBERlogix.  RUBBERlogix manufactures high-quality sports floors, acoustical underlayment and transportation anti-friction mats along with many other multi-purpose rubber flooring products. The main composition of RUBBERlogix products is post-consumer recycled crumb rubber from car, truck and airplane tires.  For more information on RUBBERlogix and their product line, visit

Copper Recyler Launches Multi-Million Dollar Expansion in Shelby 

Ames Copper Group plans to expand operations in Shelby, N.C., with the construction of a new smelter plant to recycle and purify scrap copper. The company will invest more than $50 million over the course of the project, creating 46 new jobs with an average annual salary exceeding $50,000. Ames Copper Group is a joint venture of Prime Materials Recovery, Inc. and the Cunext Group that manufactures copper for wiring, lightning rods and devices for the defense industry. 

Read more about the June 2020 announcement from the N.C. Department of Commerce

Recycling Business Development Grants

The RBAC seeks viable, well-planned proposals that divert materials from the waste stream and create jobs from recycling businesses and nonprofit organizations for the 2021 Recycling Business Development Grant cycle. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5. '

Funding priority this year will be considered for projects that involve:

  • Single-stream material recovery facility upgrades;
  • Plastics (non-bottle) recycling processing;
  • Fiber (other than newsprint or office paper) recycling processing;
  • Use of priority plastics or fiber in recycled product manufacturing; or
  • Glass container recycling processing; or
  • Food waste collection, donation or recycling. 

Applicants can request up to $60,000 for priority projects or up to $40,000 for any project that does not fall into a priority category. All grants require a 50 percent match from the applicant. 

Contact Mike Greene 919-707-8137 to learn more. Visit RBAC’s grant webpage for application materials.

DEACS Annual Report

The Recycling Business Assistance Center is a program of DEACS, which released its 2020 Annual Report this summer. Learn how DEACS works with a diverse set of clients to achieve positive results for North Carolina’s environment and economy.

Announcements and Opportunities

  • Nov. 5: Carolina Recycling Association Tagging and Enforcement Webinar will feature local governments, recycling support businesses and haulers discussing how they have tackled contamination using tagging programs and enforcement mechanisms. 
  • Nov. 16 and 17:  America Recycles Innovation Fair and Summit, hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will showcase recent advances in recycling technology, product development and material usage.  EPA will also announce national recycling goals, provide an overview of its draft National Recycling Strategy, and facilitate discussions on the advancement of the nation’s recycling economy.
  • Nov. 16 and 17: Increasing the Use of Recycled Content in Road and Infrastructure Projects Virtual Workshop, hosted by the Northeast Recycling Council and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association, will present opportunities for using recycled glass, plastic drainage pipes, ground asphalt and crumb rubber in construction projects.
  • Nov. 18 and 19:  2020 MRF Summit, hosted by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) , will explore key issues affecting material recovery facilities, including the impact of automation and technology on the workforce, the changing material stream, creating demand for recovered material, and the business economics of MRFs.  

The Recycling Business Assistance Center (RBAC) is a program of the N.C. Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS) that provides technical, business and financial assistance to recycling companies.