The Economic Impact on Connecticut from Recycling Activity

Source: Connecticut Economic Resource Center, November 2012

From the summary:
Most of us like the idea of finding new and appropriate uses for things we thought we were done with. This is true whether we are a business or a household. Businesses that focus on profits know that finding a way to reuse materials can make them money. Households don’t often recognize the value-added they provide to the economy by choosing to recycle; however their contribution can be significant to the overall wellbeing of the economy of the region as well as improving the environment of the region.

In 2012, the impact on Connecticut’s economy, as measured in total sales due to recycling activity, is estimated to be over $746 million. Over seven years, from 2006 through 2012, this impact is estimated to be nearly $5.17 billion. Other measures of the overall economic activity associated with Connecticut’s recycling activities in 2012 are estimated to include:
• Employment over 4,800
• Total value-added of $469 million, which includes:
o Labor income more than $275 million
o Indirect business taxes of nearly $59 million
o Other profit-type income of more than $134 million

While these numbers are substantial, they are conservative estimates of the overall impact of all aspects of the recycling activities in Connecticut. This conservative nature is a result of a the complex market structure of recycling in Connecticut which results in some dimensions associated with recycling not being classified in recycling or easily associated with that activity. Among these factors include efficiencies associated with some of the aspects of recycling which are not quantifiable but reduce costs, the economies associated with various reduced and avoided waste disposal requirements, and the economic values residents attach to having less land taken up with landfills or other waste disposal facilities.

However, this analysis has been as thorough as possible in accounting appropriately for all available data. Within the structure of Connecticut’s economy this analysis was developed to provide a measure of the economic impacts associated with Connecticut’s recycling activity for each year from 2006 through 2012. In addition, the following report extends this analysis to include an examination of the contributions of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA). CRRA fills a critical role in overseeing an efficient materials recycling facility within the state and providing its knowledge to inform state policy. CRRA also provides an experiential and educational component of recycling in Connecticut through the CRRA Trash Museum.
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