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Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development

Recycling and the Skid in Oil Prices

| Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Feb 21, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/recycling-and-the-skid-in-oil-prices/
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The decline in oil prices and its consequences for recycling as reported recently by The New York Times is not being seen everywhere.  Programs and enterprises in many towns and cities are maintaining and even increasing recycling and diversion rates. It’s important to remember that while recycling markets fluctuate the costs of replacement landfill and incinerator options for waste always increases dramatically.

Avoided costs of disposal are more important to local government budgets and for local jobs. Worcester, MA, a city of 200,000, avoided $99 million since it started serious recycling 23 years ago.  Minnesota has created 138,000 jobs over the same time frame. Recycling, composting and reuse are 6% of the state’s economy, and pay $3.5 billion in wages and generate $26 billion in sales.

Local governments that have stagnant levels of recycling and diversion are missing out on financial, economic and environmental benefits.

About Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D., co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and serves as Senior Staff of the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and counties recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy  through new processing and manufacturing facilities.  Neil also serves on ILSR’s Board of Directors.

Contact Neil   |   View all articles by Neil Seldman