Indiana has set an ambitious target of 50% recycling for municipal waste and requires mandatory submission of data on solid waste and recycling to track progress. To monitor the progress, the state mandates the submission of data on solid waste and recycling annually. This metric serves as a general indicator of the circular economy, which supplies recyclable materials to manufacturers and other end users. The Recycling Market Development Board (RMDB) hired GT Environmental, a consulting firm, to conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of the extensive infrastructure and significant economic impact of recycling throughout Indiana.
The report includes specific recommendations for improving recycling across the state in order to maximize its impact on the circular economy. Circular Indiana, founded in 1989 as the Indiana Recycling Coalition, is inspiring the community to think and act beyond recycling and toward a more circular economy. Chemical recyclers are forging partnerships, analyzing the flows of underused materials and unleashing their creativity to ensure a sufficient supply to fuel their ambitious plans. In addition to education and recycling programs, the District also provides recycling grants to each municipality in Lake County to help those municipalities carry out recycling efforts in accordance with the District's legal responsibilities. A comprehensive statewide and all-stakeholder approach to all elements of the solid waste system is needed to take recycling to the next level in Indiana. The survey results showed that state initiatives to collect recyclable materials include 197 sidewalk recycling programs and 313 delivery recycling centers for the residential sector.
The economic analysis included in the study analyzes recycling jobs, supplier jobs, and jobs in other industries supported by recycling industry spending. In 1989, when Indiana Recycling Coalition was founded, recycling was still a novel concept in Indiana and was not yet widely available across the state. The RMDB operates within the framework of the Recycling Market Development Program, which was established in the early 1990s to improve solid waste management by developing markets for recycling and recyclable materials. The study provides an insight into the current solid waste and recycling infrastructure in Indiana and helps stakeholders and decision makers to better understand how to make local improvements and support new investments. Based on responses to a survey conducted by Indiana manufacturers, who stated that they could use more recyclable materials from the state, another 922 jobs could be created in the recycling industry to help meet existing demand. To reach its 50% goal, Indiana must continue its efforts to improve its solid waste management system by developing markets for recycled materials.
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