December 16th, 2010
By Jennifer Maule, Arizona State University A.S.U. School of Business, Intern for E.C.A.
In 1990, the Arizona Recycling Program was established through the Arizona Solid Waste Recycling Act, with its funding coming from a $.25 per ton landfill user fee surcharge. The Arizona Recycling Program main responsibilities include public education, outreach events, distribution of education and assistance grants, and technical assistance. The program also compiles an annual report on the recycling and education activities that have happened throughout the year. A major section of report that gives insight into Arizona's recycling market is the market development section, which is devoted to the Arizona Department of Commerce's (ADOC) Recycling Market Development Program. This newsletter is an overview of the State of Arizona's Recycling Program, specifically the Market Development Program's background and current standings, to provide an understanding of the roots on which all recycling businesses in Arizona today are grown from.
In the 1998 annual report it was stated that as one of the first initiatives to occur in the realm of market development was in 1994, with the Arizona Department of Corrections being granted "Jobs Through Recycling" program. This program was a grant that enabled a partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and the Market Development Program to bloom. The three entities came together to support and provide funding for the 1996 Market Development Study, whose main purpose was to find ways to attract new recycling industries as well as give assistance to the current recycling industries.
The Market Development Study gained success in its attraction of and assistance to key recycling industries and was subsequently awarded more grants from the EPA to further enhance Arizona's recycling programs. The grants consisting of a second "Jobs Through Recycling" (1996) and the "Rural Recycling Business Initiative" (1997). Through these grants and the funding from the landfill surcharge the Arizona Recycling Program was able to begin reaching out to Arizona's private and public sectors.
The outreach program began with dispersing and collecting surveys to assess the current level of active recycling businesses and to find areas of the industry that could be targeted to attract more businesses. With the information from the surveys the Market Development Program began to speak on behalf of the findings at national and state level conferences. Through the outreach program and the rising interest in the Arizona recycling industry, the Recycling Market Development Program began to assist new and existing recycling companies in their ventures. The companies were given assistance in the form of technical assistance, monetary assistance, and tax credits; all of which elevated the recycling industry to attracting 466 new recycling industry companies, $57 million in new investments, and diverting 400,000 tons of waste from landfills, all in three years (1995-1998).
Moving four years ahead to 2002, the progress of the Arizona Recycling Market Development Program has been substantial. The 2002 State of Arizona Recycling Program Annual Report reported that there had been a capital investment of $387 million in the recycling industries, which is over a $300 million dollar increase in 4 years (1998-2002)! There has also been a significant increase in the amount of businesses that received assistance from the program some of who operated in other states. Resulting from the assistance given to Arizona businesses, national market outreach and industry development out-of-state businesses became more optimistic about relocating or expanding their operations into Arizona.
Stated in the 2002 report was a list of goals and objectives that program wanted to reach, some of which have been done so since the reports release. One such objective has been reached, the formation of the Arizona Recycling Coalition. There are other objectives that have been reached and further progress has been made in the Market Development Program, but due to the lack of annual reports on the Web, descriptions of such progress cannot be made.
Hopefully, from the description of the Market Development Program it is seen that the State of Arizona has routed much time, energy, finances, and great ideas into making the recycling industry in Arizona into what it is today. From my research done for this newsletter I have realized that Arizona's recycling industry is ever evolving and outreaching to expand its scope and its impact on the lives of Arizona residents and on a small scale the nation and the world. One small movement can create a snowball effect that reaches such a large scale that it can no longer be ignored and hey if it's a profit making movement then all the better!
Sources: State of Arizona's Recycling Program Annual Report 1998, 2002.