INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Recycling advocates are urging leaders to re-evaluate Indiana’s recycling
system, which they say is plagued with issues including a lack of locally
sourced recycling material for businesses and landfills filling with
Many businesses pay
extra to acquire raw materials from out of state because there isn’t enough
local material, The Indianapolis Star reported.
Knauf Insulation of
Shelbyville imports nearly all of the recycled glass bottles that it turns
into insulation, said Scott Miller, the company’s sustainability director.
More than 70
companies statewide regularly use recycled materials, such as plastic, paper
and glass, according to a 2013 study by Ball State University. But other
companies say they would also use recycled materials if it was more readily
state’s recycling rate could create jobs, making the state’s recycling
companies more competitive and make the state more attractive to businesses,
said Allyson Mitchell, the executive director of the Indiana Recycling
Coalition, which advocates for recycling on behalf of businesses,
municipalities and environmental groups.
moment,” she said. “This is an opportunity for us to build a system where
the conditions are optimal, so that when all of the (recycling) commodity
prices rebound, we’re in a good spot to take full advantage of that.”
recycling system is also seeing problems with local landfills. More than
half the material in the state’s landfills is paper, plastic or glass, which
could be recycled, according to a study by the Purdue University Calumet.
Starting efforts to
divert recyclable material from the landfills could generate 20,000 new jobs
in Indiana, the recycling coalition’s study found.
Many businesses are
already turning their attention to recycling efforts to improve
sustainability and attract customers. A robust recycling system can also
ensure companies have access to affordable materials, said Rob Taylor,
senior assistance specialist at nonprofit The Recycling Partnership.
that securing recycled feedstock from recovered materials is something that
they can rely on 25 years from now, no matter what happens to oil markets,”
Companies are also
working to attract consumers who are becoming more concerned with companies’
impacts on climate change and pollution, said Scott Mouw, senior research
director of strategy and research for The Recycling Partnership.
Consumers “want the
people they buy their products from to be contributing to solutions,” Mouw