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Recycling Economic Impact Study Update

Northeast Recycling Council | Burlington, VT | Completed: 2008

The Northeast Recycling Council has been among the nation's leading organizations at recognizing and measuring the economic benefits of the recycling and reuse industry.  NERC first conducted a regional Recycling Economic Impact (REI) study in 2000.  In 2008, MSW Consultants was on a project team that updated the 2000 REI Study for five Northeast states: Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

The research for this project was extensive, spanning 26 distinct industry sectors. These industry sectors were grouped into three major subgroups: true supply side recyclers (i.e., organizations that directly collect recyclables and/or process/broker materials back to manufacturers in feedstock form); demand side industries that are reliant on recycled feedstocks to manufacture their products; and reuse organizations. Research methods included use of Census Bureau data, state and trade-association specific research, and direct surveys of certain industry sector organizations.

MSW Consultants was primarily responsible for the economic research needed to complete the analysis for Pennsylvania, as well as direct surveying of most of the reuse sector across all five participating states. This research included surveying entire industry sectors (or in some cases, a representative sample) within Pennsylvania for assigned sectors. MSW Consultants completed over 1,200 surveys of public and private sector organizations. 

MSW Consultants contributed to the development of the final report and provided quality control throughout the project in collaboration with the prime contractor.The final report is available on the NERC website.