The press release below further solidifies commercial recycling activities as contributing economically to our local and state workforce and revenue.

Carrie Hakenkamp
Director, WasteCap of Lincoln

State's recycling and reuse facilities generate $683 million in annual revenue

It pays to be "green" in "Big Red Country"


LINCOLN, NE (April 10, 2002) -- Recycling in Nebraska is not just about environmental protection, it's also about sound economics. More specifically, it's about the far reaching financial benefits that Nebraska garners from its growing recycling and reuse industry.  According to the recently published Nebraska Recycling Economic Information (REI) Study, the state's 417 recycling and reuse facilities employ 4,323 workers and generate annual revenue of $683 million.

"This groundbreaking report quantifies the size and impact of Nebraska's recycling and reuse industry, addressing a long- standing need for economic data," said Patrick Langan, economic development consultant with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. "Any Nebraskan still searching for a reason to support recycling need look no further than the results of this report. The total amount of revenue generated by the recycling/reuse industry is nearly four times greater than total revenue generated by the state's waste management industry."

The data is impressive. Recycling and reuse establishments maintain an annual payroll of $109 million, and generate $10.71 million in state government revenue each year. The REI Study results are already gaining notice and providing critical information to government decisionmakers, lawmakers, economic development professionals, entrepreneurs, and financiers.

"Good decision-making requires quality data. In many ways understanding the contribution of recycling to Nebraska's economy will lead to smarter programs that strengthen the entire industry here," said Kay Stevens, executive director of the Nebraska State Recycling Association.

For many, the economic results of Nebraska's REI Study corroborates a long list of well established benefits of recycling and reuse. By converting waste into valuable raw materials, recycling builds more competitive manufacturing industries, cuts pollution, conserves natural resources, saves energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

"The economic benefit of using recycled materials in products, such as the pads we manufacture for airport lights, just makes good business sense," said Jack Schreiner, president of Bruckman Rubber Co., in Hastings, Neb. Bruckman Rubber custom molds rubber products, specializing in injection, compression and transfer molding. "The recycled materials we use in some of our products have provided outstanding strength and endurance characteristics."

The study was conducted for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development by R.W. Beck, Inc., as part of the National Recycling Coalition's U.S. Recycling Economic Information (US REI) Study. Primary study results document information, such as the number of recycling and reuse business establishments currently operating; total value of goods and services provided; total employment; total wages; and amount of materials collected and processed annually.

In addition to 26 categories of direct recycling and reuse establishments, the study estimates other economic activity produced in Nebraska's economy attributable to the recycling and reuse industry using economic modeling. The modeling system used is called IMPLAN Pro (tm). It is pubished by the Minnesota IMPLAN Group, Inc., and widely used by economic planners for analyzing all industry types.

Funding for the study was made possible through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund.

For more information, contact Pat Langan at (800) 426-6505, (402) 471-3766, or e-mail: [email protected]