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December 7, 2021 10:24 pm


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Partnership Aims for Improved Recycling Data

Recycling saves Ohio’s landfill space, conserves natural resources and saves on disposal costs. Recycling also creates jobs and is good for Ohio’s economy.

However, getting accurate information about recycling activities that take place at businesses throughout Ohio is challenging.  As a result, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Ohio EPA and Ohio’s local solid waste management districts have teamed up for a statewide initiative to encourage commercial, retail and industrial businesses to submit their recycling data.

Each year, Ohio’s 52 local solid waste management districts survey businesses in their districts about the amounts and types of materials being recycled. The data is reported to Ohio EPA, which compiles the information to get a statewide picture of recycling activities, trends and opportunities.

The data collected help determine how much material is being diverted from Ohio’s landfills, reveals infrastructure needs and determine whether local solid waste management districts are meeting Ohio’s recycling goals. Greater participation in the surveys leads to more accurate data and a better understanding of what is happening locally and throughout the state.

Voluntary participation in the survey benefits businesses by connecting them to the local solid waste management districts that serve their region. Solid waste districts offer services such as waste assessments (figuring out what waste materials may be recycled rather than thrown away and identifying markets for these materials), financial assistance through grants, employee education and other technical assistance.

“Recycling is important to Ohio’s environment and its economy. The surveys help us know if we are meeting recycling goals and how we can better serve Ohio’s businesses and communities,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler.

“Industry is an enormous consumer of recycled materials, such as metals, glass, paper and plastics; thus, manufacturers are strong advocates for recycling systems in Ohio. Measuring and reporting recycling efforts is valuable for all of Ohio’s audiences,” said Rob Brundrett of The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.

Ohio EPA recently launched a collaborative website that includes contact information for each solid waste district in Ohio and access to the recycling survey. Recycling data from the previous year also is available. The survey only takes about 15 minutes to complete. Hard copies of the surveys may also be mailed out by solid waste management districts.  Participating either way – through the new website or a hard copy received directly from a solid waste management district – will help Ohio’s solid waste management districts and Ohio EPA improve their understanding of recycling by businesses and identify where more help may be needed.

In addition to the services offered by solid waste management districts, Ohio EPA offers grants, technical assistance and recognition to businesses and organizations who want to recycle more or develop markets for recycled products. Ohio EPA staff can help businesses audit their processes to find ways to become more efficient, reduce waste and find places to recycle materials.

Many businesses in Ohio have already found that recycling helps them meet their own sustainability objectives and improve their bottom lines. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Ohio EPA and Ohio’s local solid waste management districts hope that this new partnership will encourage more businesses to share their recycling information, whether they have been recycling tons of material for years or are just getting started.

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