HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell announced the award of $927,000 in grants to help manufacturers buy equipment and increase their use of Pennsylvania-generated recyclable materials in production of finished goods. These Recycling Markets Infrastructure Development grants will leverage more than $3 million of investments by Pennsylvania businesses.
“By helping businesses increase the use of recyclable materials in their products, these grants will help to build market demand for recovered glass, metal, plastic, paper and other recyclable materials,” Rendell said. “The success of the commonwealth’s recycling programs is directly related to demand for recyclable goods. Not only does this investment increase the use of recovered materials, it also showcases some of the innovations being developed by Pennsylvania businesses.”
“These grants are targeted to companies that will develop useful and necessary products from recycled materials for which there is currently weak or limited demand,” said Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty. “For recycling to succeed in the long-term, we need to support innovative ideas that turn waste into raw materials for industry and build strong, profitable recycling-based businesses.”
The three companies receiving the Recycling Markets Infrastructure Grants are:
· LCL Industries Inc. of Schuylkill County will use its $500,000 grant as part of a $1.6 million project to process mixed broken glass into an abrasive product that can be used for sandblasting. The innovative process could greatly benefit the recycling industry because it incorporates a commonly recovered glass that is not currently used in the remanufacturing of glass bottles and has few uses. Additionally, LCL’s product would eliminate the health risks of silicosis and exposure to heavy metals associated with many currently available abrasives. Once operational, LCL will have the capability to process 300 tons of mixed broken glass per day and will create more than 10 jobs.
· Pandya Inc. of Cambria County received a $302,736 grant to purchase equipment allowing this manufacturer of composite wood products to process additional types of recyclable materials, such as agricultural plastics, plant and flower containers, and grocery bags. Pandya currently produces parking blocks, speed bumps, picnic tables, and landscaping and fencing materials from post-consumer bottles, sawdust and cardboard. With this equipment, Pandya will double its production capacity to use 4,000 pounds per day of recycled plastics and broaden its product line. Pandya anticipates the grant will create up to 10 jobs at its facility and in other segments of the recycling industry. Increasing the beneficial reuse of agricultural plastics is a priority for Pennsylvania’s recycling programs.
· Waste Not Technologies LLC of Monroe County received a $124,200 grant to purchase equipment to process additional types of plastic. The company manufactures fencing from recycled plastics obtained from industrial and residential recycling programs, including low-density polyethylene and polypropylene, for which no other regional markets exist. The new equipment will enable Waste Not Technologies to use recycled high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, and increase consumption of recycled plastics by more than 4 tons per day. The addition of HDPE materials will provide a more stable supply of recycled plastics, making the business more sustainable and allowing it to create two jobs.
Pennsylvania’s recycling and reuse industry leads the nation in employment, payroll and sales numbers. More than 3,200 recycling and reuse businesses and organizations made more than $18 billion in gross annual sales, paid $305 million in taxes and provided jobs for more than 81,300 employees at an annual payroll of approximately $2.9 billion.
Recycling Markets Infrastructure Development Grants finance the purchase of machinery or equipment that will increase consumption of recyclable materials recovered in Pennsylvania. The grants are made to businesses and nonprofit organizations that are manufacturing a product or reusing an existing product using recyclable material from Pennsylvania or that want to begin using recyclable material. Grants are available in amounts up to $500,000 for any one recycling infrastructure development project.