Texas’ Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling Completed

The TCEQ has released its Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling (SEIR), The Study builds on the efforts of prior recycling studies, such as STAR’s Texas Recycling Data Initiative (TRDI, 2015), and digs deeper into the economic benefits of the recycling industry in Texas. SEIR, which was required to be completed by House Bill 2763 in the 84th Legislature, gives Texas policymakers the information they need to examine the economic, environmental, and policy issues of interest to Texas businesses, citizens, and governmental agencies.

Key take-aways include:

  • Approximately 9.2 million tons of MSW was recycled in 2015, valued at $702 million
  • Based on those 9.2 million tons, the recycling rate for Texas in 2015 was 22.7 percent, which is 3.8 percent more than the recycling rate from TRDI, which showed an 18.9 percent recycling rate for material recycled in 2013
  • More than 17,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs were supported by the material recycled in 2015
  • The overall impact of the recycling industry in Texas exceeded $3.3 billion

The Study includes information for individual commodities, as well as data on the economic impact and value of the material that could be recycled but isn’t currently. SEIR also points to grants and other funding sources communities and businesses can use to begin or grow recycling operations, as well as market development and infrastructure opportunities for the state. The report is available for download here.
STAR was proud to be part of the Project Team working on the Study throughout the past two years alongside TCEQ, Burns & McDonnell, and others. The data and qualitative information in SEIR are meant to be used as a resource for communities and businesses across Texas, and STAR strives to be on the frontline when it comes to providing top-notch information for its members and supporters.

TCEQ sent out a press release on October 23rd announcing the completion of the study and in it, Senator José Rodríguez (D-El Paso, who sponsored HB 2763), said

“It’s clear industry was hungry for reliable data to demonstrate that existing recycling efforts across Texas, on top of providing a valuable environmental service, are also massive economic drivers for the state. The final report does a tremendous job of validating that recycling is a booming, highly-motivated industry…”

Many of you were at the Texas Recycling Summit in late October and had the opportunity to be among the first recycling professionals to hear the results of the Study and potential implications for Texas. If you missed it though, you’re in luck. STAR is hosting a webinar on the results of the Study on America Recycles Day, November 15th, from 10-11:30 a.m. CT.

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