This week as the cold winters drives on and blizzards hit the East Coast, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) releases numbers on the impact of Recycling and Reuse. The MPCA said that improved reporting methods allowed them to capture more accurate data. When you look at the data it is astonishing.
- the conversion of old or used products into new ones created 60,215 jobs
- this is an increase of about 1,700 jobs since 2011
- the 60,215 jobs delivered $665 million in taxes to the state
- recycled trash delivered $3.4 billion worth of economic treasures to Minnesotans' wallets
- this sector contributed $26 billion worth of sales in 2015
- the total economic benefit to Minnesota was an estimated $15.7 billion in "total output" in the form of direct and indirect production, sales, supplies and wages.
About $2.3 billion worth of recyclable materials were pitched and landed in Minnesota landfills between 1996 and 2013. Wayne Gjerde, MPCA recycling market development coordinator, states, "That's 20 million tons. It's kind of mind-boggling," Gjerde said. "We are throwing away this material and we could be creating a job with it."
That is definitely true for Relan who upcycles billboards and banners for corporations. "It's pretty cool (how the sector is growing)," Kari Brizius, president of Relan, said. "Some 600,000 tons of banners and billboards and other sports materials goes out into landfills each year. Our goal (is) to touch a great portion of that."
If you have banners, billboards, or even old t-shirts we can help you find a better use than landfilling them. For us this is not just about creating a product, it is about finding a way to reach communities, create jobs, and do the right thing.
The CEO Corner is a Relan blog series by our very own Della Simpson on living a green, happy, and healthy lifestyle from the inside out. Della is a vegan, certified by YogaFit as a Yoga Instructor, and passionate social entrepreneur. Learn more about Della here.