Chantal Fryer, director of recycling market development at the South Carolina Department of Commerce, shows off the kits that she uses to explain how business investment in recycling can mean growth for the entire state’s economy. (Photo: Green Connections)
Think saving a few plastic bottles might not add up in the long run? According the New Mexico Recycling Coalition, if New Mexico’s recycling rate rose to the national average, your plastic bottles would help create new jobs and a stronger economy in New Mexico.
If New Mexico grows from its current 16 percent recycling rate to the national average of 34 percent, an NMRC study at https://www.recyclenewmexico.com/economic-development/ shows the state would see almost 9,400 new direct and indirect jobs. The South Central Solid Waste Authority believes with the creation of the new Rio Grande Recycling Corridor that growth is possible.
The SCSWA has partnered with cities up and down the Rio Grande — Las Cruces, Albuquerque, El Paso and Santa Fe — to grow regional recycling efforts.
“These solid partnerships equal recycling power. Together, we bring a united best to the recycling table,” explains Patrick Peck, SCSWA director. “That grows our own marketability; the end goal is developing business that adds value to our recycling right here in Las Cruces.”
“Opportunities for wealth grow for the state when recycling is expanded,” said Sarah Pierpont, NMRC executive director. Key to recycling success in New Mexico is ensuring that residents and businesses are following the Recycle Right rules:
- No contamination. Recyclables must not have food or trash mixed in.
- Clean and dry. No fats, oils or grease that can ruin entire loads of recycling.
- Only recycle items on the recyclable list, for which there are known markets.
The recent NMRC and National Recycling Coalition workshop in Albuquerque introduced regional recycling market development and brought in speakers to show examples of what’s working in other states.
From the South Carolina Department of Commerce, a campaign called “Your Bottle Means Jobs” is a successful initiative that connects the dots between recycling and jobs creation. Chantal Fryer, director of recycling market development, explained
this type of initiative makes South Carolina a valuable asset for international companies looking to do business in states with a strong recycling program.
“We found that if every household in the Carolinas recycled just two more bottles per week, we could create 300 local jobs,” Fryer said. “That’s a tangible idea for people to understand that a little bit of effort can create long-lasting change and growth for an industry that comes back to employ local workers.”
Green Connections is submitted by the South Central Solid Waste Authority managing solid waste, recyclables, and working to stop illegal dumping for residents and businesses throughout Doña Ana County. Contact the SCSWA at 575-528-3800 or visit www.SCSWA.net.
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