Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recycling Is Cost-Effective Overall

'For every 1,000 tons recycled, 5 jobs may be created'

11/18/2010 - Study finds recycling is a labor intensive industry and cost-effective overall, but set up costs deter local authorities.

Is recycling cost effective? Does it even matter if it is or isn’t? Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the Macro Center for Political Economics organized a roundtable discussion to present a new economic analysis on Wednesday which looked at the effect of changes in waste treatment on employment.

After analyzing the cost of interring waste in landfills and the number of jobs employed in that traditional industry, the study’s authors, Roei Levy and Hagar Tzameret Karcher, concluded that the recycling industry would add 5.44 jobs to the market per 1,000 tons. The current industry employs 14.66 people per 1,000 tons, while recycling that amount would employ 20.1 people. Reaching a rate of no interment of waste in landfills would generate 8,695 new jobs per 1,000 tons.

Furthermore, Levy explained during the roundtable at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung’s offices in Herzliya Pituach, the Packaging Law would create 1,232 new jobs per 1,000 tons. The study’s researchers also calculated the savings from recycling certain materials rather than interring them. Recycling plastic and glass was not currently cost effective. Glass would result in a NIS 51 per ton loss, while plastic would cost NIS 268 more to recycle. However, paper would yield a NIS 150 profit and metal a NIS 96 profit over interment.

The overall average was a profit in favor of recycling of NIS 5.80.


However, recycling would be an industry with reliable employment for a number of reasons, according to Levy. First of all, the jobs could not be shipped off overseas because waste would always be within the state. It’s a labor intensive industry and, according to the study, worthwhile from a financial perspective.

Finally, he argued that recycling introduced a whole new value to a product beyond what was thought to be the end of a product. {read rest}

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