Study Reveals Economic Impact of Local Recycling Industry

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Member Insights by SWACO

We’ve always known that recycling was good for the environment. Now, SWACO is documenting that it’s an economic driver and jobs-producer, as well. SWACO hired DSM Environmental Services to conduct a study to determine the actual size of the industry and its economic impact on the region. We released the results last month, and they reveal that the industry does, indeed, have a significant economic impact.

Central Ohio is home to 372 businesses involved in the recycling industry. The businesses include firms that collect and process recyclable materials, firms that use recycled materials to produceCircular-economy-H-arrows new products and firms that re-use materials that would otherwise be discarded. In 2016, these companies employed more than 5,000 workers, had a payroll of $234.7 million and produced revenues of nearly $1.3 billion.

“This report is simply the beginning of our efforts to document and strengthen central Ohio’s recycling industry and circular economy,” O’Keefe said. “We will use this information to increase our diversion activities and to create an economic development strategy that leverages all of SWACO’s assets to further contribute to the local economy.”

The report also detailed the opportunity that exists to support the local economy through additional recycling. Diverting 250,000 more tons of material from the landfill could increase industry employment, payroll and gross revenues by 20 percent. SWACO will use the report later this year to shape our economic development strategy.

Click here if you would like to read the executive summary of the report.

View the full report.