Hanna Greer-Brown, Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio
Paul Werth Associates
When Ohioans bring their recyclables to the curb or to a community drop-off location, they might not give much thought as to where materials like soda and water bottles go from there.
When we recycle, we aren’t only protecting the environment by diverting trash from the landfill; we are also supporting jobs, consumers and Ohio’s economy.
Recycled materials, including our plastics, become part of a cycle that makes new products used by consumers in Ohio and across the globe. Nearly all of the materials recycled through Franklin County’s curbside recycling programs stay in the U.S., and a full 80% become new products right here in Ohio. From Wapakoneta to Ironton, Ohio is home to hundreds of businesses that rely on our recyclables.
Together, those businesses employ thousands of individuals and invest millions, if not billions of dollars, right back into our economy.
That’s why the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) supports Circular Ohio, an economy in which once consumers are done using items made from raw materials like trees, water, oil and natural gas, SWACO makes it easier to recycle as much as possible so the material can be made into new items that we once again use and consume.
Ohio’s circular economy keeps resources in use for as long as possible, extracting maximum value and keeping them out of landfills as they are recovered and made into new products.
In central Ohio alone nearly 400 businesses are recycling-reliant and together, they support more than 5,000 jobs. Recyclables, like the residential plastics collected in SWACO’s jurisdiction, travel around our state to companies like Phoenix Technologies which employs 130 people in Bowling Green. Phoenix helps to divert more than 75 million pounds of plastics from the landfill each year by producing food packaging from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics.
And Evergreen, which has approximately 170 people employed at its facility in Clyde, is the largest single PET site in the U.S. Most of Evergreen’s process is turning recycled plastic water and soda bottles into new bottles ¾ which can then be recycled again.
Reducing waste, recycling, and using our resources more efficiently have become part of the fabric of our community, and Ohioans value their ability to act sustainably. In fact, the vast majority (92%) of central Ohioans, think it’s important to recycle. We know there’s growing demand from businesses for more of these materials and we can continue to improve our recycling capabilities, and SWACO has programs available to help.
Learn more at swaco.org
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