Monday, November 14, 2011

Report: 75 % recycling rate would create 1.5 million jobs

On the eve of America Recycles Day, a report prepared by an alliance of recycling advocates and labor unions claims that reaching a national recycling rate of 75 percent by 2030 would create nearly 1.5 million jobs and reduce pollution.

The report's findings will be the subject of a panel discussion tomorrow at 3 p.m. with Senator Tom Carper of Delaware and Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

Key report findings

Achieving a 75 percent diversion rate for municipal solid waste (MSW) and construction and demolition debris (C&D) by 2030 will result in:
    • A total of 2.3 million jobs: Almost twice as many jobs as the projected 2030 Base Case Scenario, and about 2.7 times as many jobs as exist in 2008. There would be a significant number of additional indirect jobs associated with suppliers to this growing sector, and additional induced jobs from the increased spending by the new workers.
    • Lower greenhouse gas emissions: The reduction of almost 515 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (eMTCO2) from diversion activities, an additional 276 million eMTCO2 than the Base Case, equivalent to emissions from about 72 coal power plants or taking 50 million cars off the road.
    • Less pollution overall: Significant reductions in a range of conventional and toxic emissions that impact human and ecosystem health.
    • Unquantified benefits of reducing ecological pressures associated with use of non-renewable resources, conserving energy throughout the materials economy, and generating economic resiliency through stable, local employment.
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