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Recycling in Recession Good for Economy

July 28, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa - There is no question that recycling is good for the environment, but it's also good for Iowa's economy. The recession, however, has forced down commodities prices and in turn the demand for recycled materials such as paper and plastic. Still, Amy Hock with Metro Waste Authority says this is no time for communities or homeowners to reduce recycling efforts.

"If a specific commodity, let's say plastic, is not going for as high a rate on the market as it was at one time, that doesn't mean that you should stop recycling. That is absolutely not the case; the markets will rebound, they will come back again."

She says in reality there are businesses that will only stay in business if Iowans keep up the pace of recycling.

"When you think about it, we're keeping businesses going, we are keeping businesses operating by recycling, because there are companies that use that recycled materials to make new products. "

Hock says that, besides saving valuable landfill space, recycling products reduces everyone's carbon footprint. For instance, making a soda can out of recycled aluminum can reduce net energy consumption by as much as 95 percent when compared to using raw materials.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA