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Recycling in Recession Good for NY Economy

July 30, 2009

ALBANY, N.Y. - No doubt about it: Recycling is good for the environment. And it's good for New York's economy. The recession, however, has forced down commodity prices and, in turn, the demand for recycled materials.

Still, says Amy Schoch of Empire State Development, this is no time for communities or homeowners to reduce recycling efforts.

"Paper, plastic, glass, various metals - those prices have dropped. But I'm sure the prices will come back up, as the price of everything will recover, with time and with demand."

Recycling, while affected by falling commodities prices in a down economy, cannot be overlooked, she warns.

"It's just as important as ever. The alternative is that all of that material would go to landfill if we didn't recycle it. And that would be a lasting environmental loss."

It will take more than a recession for the bottom to drop out of the recycling business, Schoch says, because of the degree to which it's entrenched in our economy.

"It is here to stay because everybody is hoping for a more sustainable economy and recycling is integral to that."

Empire State Development is the state government's lead business development agency. Its Environmental Services Unit provides companies with information on new technologies to effectively recycle, reduce waste and prevent pollution.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY