Recycling Works Newsletter Winter 2021

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

In the Winter 2021 Recycling Works issue:

NC Recycling Jobs Study

NCDEQ completed the 2020 Recycling Employment Trends in N.C.'s Recycling Industry with assistance from Sherry Yarkosky, Materials Management and Recycling Consultants LLC. The full report can be found on DEQ’s website

The study showed that North Carolina has 15,712 direct private sector recycling-related jobs. Despite market disruptions due to international trade restrictions, recycling employment in North Carolina declined by only 3.4 percent from 2015 to 2020. In fact, 54 percent of recycling businesses surveyed plan on investing a total of $27.2 million in equipment, facilities or land in North Carolina the over next two years. Diversity of materials recycled and existing infrastructure contributed to the industry’s resiliency in the state. 

Thank you to the businesses that completed the survey. The results proved crucial in determining an accurate count of the recycling industry’s employment and investment. 

NC Organics Recycling Study

NCDEQ completed the North Carolina Organics Recycling Study 2020: Materials Managed 2011 – 2020 and Food Recovered 2019. The full report can be found on DEQ’s website.

This study analyzes the materials received and products created at permitted composting facilities over the past decade. Further, the study highlights food recovery efforts through four strategies: food rescue, animal feeding operations, commercial composting and anaerobic digestion. 

The Recycling Partnership Grants - Aluminum Cans and Polypropylene 

The Can Manufacturing Institute and The Recycling Partnership have released a grant opportunity to fund equipment for material recovery facilities (MRFs). The grant will fund eddy currents, robots or process improvement activities to capture used beverage cans at MRFs. The first round of applications close on February 19, and the second round will close on March 31. Apply here:

The Recycling Partnership has also opened a grant program for recovering polypropylene. The funding targets equipment or process investments that establish permanent and sustainable MRF acceptance and recycling of polypropylene packaging. Apply here:

COVID-19 Check-In

The Recycling Business Assistance Center wants to know how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your business. Have operations been affected? What is your company’s 2021 outlook?

Please send your response to Mike Greene or Matt James

Suggested Reading

Van Dyke Recycling Solutions – VDRS provides five tips for existing and start-up MRF operators. They stress the importance of contamination reduction and continual equipment maintenance for long-term facility success. 

Announcements and Opportunities

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.