Our team was retained by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to work alongside STAR on the development of a study that would build upon information gathered in the TRDI and other regional studies. The study would need to collect data from recycling processors and the end markets responsible for handling Texans’ recyclable material.
In accordance with House Bill 2763, the study would also need to provide more information on key topics for the Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling, including:
- Current recycling efforts
- Methods to develop new markets and businesses
- Funding methods
- Job creation
- Infrastructure needs
The partnership’s resulting survey, conducted between Aug. 15 and Oct. 31, 2016, was hosted online, allowing respondents to complete a questionnaire for each of their facilities. Each participant was asked to provide a facility description and the amount of material processed or used, as well as economic and market information.
Among the many metrics collected throughout the survey, the results of the study provided definitive evidence for a wide range of rural recycling opportunities throughout Texas. Additionally, recycling infrastructure needs, funding mechanisms for recycling programs and opportunities for programs in cities and regions studied were identified. These findings will inform years of infrastructure improvement projects for state and local governments.
The final report does a tremendous job of validating that recycling is a booming, highly-motivated industry keeping millions of tons of material out of our landfills while also producing tens of thousands of well-paid jobs and billions of dollars in economic output.
No doubt the report will also prove invaluable to current recyclers as a resource for identifying development opportunities and funding models, and learning from best practices across Texas. What’s more, the report compellingly predicts opportunity for even more economic growth by focusing public and private investment toward recycling.