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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Recycle Indiana

Recycle Indiana > Recycling Benefits > Recycling Works for Indiana's Economy (REI Study) Recycling Works for Indiana's Economy (REI Study)

The U.S. Recycling Economic Information (REI) Study is an unprecedented national study that demonstrates the importance of recycling and reuse to the U.S. economy. The study, commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and numerous states through a cooperative agreement with the National Recycling Coalition, clearly shows what many have known for a long time—that "Recycling is Working."

The Indiana Department of Commerce, now the Department of Energy and Defense Development, commissioned Indiana’s study. Consulting firm R. W. Beck, Inc. conducted the study. Fourteen other states also contracted for state-specific studies. The study provides economic data for 26 different types of reuse and recycling establishments—from local thrift stores to major paper recycling companies. Jobs in this industry involve collection, processing, reuse and remanufacturing.

As a result of the study, Indiana's recycling industry was considered a success. Indiana is reducing waste while adding significantly to its economy, according to the 2001 study. Recycling and reuse save energy, promote business opportunities, reduce solid waste disposal expenses, and help reduce the need to use natural resources. Indiana’s recycling/reuse industry boasts:

  • 1,700 recycling and reuse establishments
  • $3 billion in annual payroll
  • $19 billion in annual revenues
  • 75,000 people employed

The recycling industry contributes $285 million in state government tax revenues annually.

Direct results provided information on the number of establishments in this industry as well as its employment, wages, revenues and throughput (as available). Indirect effects were estimated for the impact of additional economic activity accruing to establishments that provided goods or services to the recycling and reuse industry. Induced effects were estimated for economic activity from workers spending personal earnings on goods and services. Multipliers were identified for jobs, personal income, industrial output and value added. For more information, visit U.S. EPA's website regarding the REI Study [PDF] (U.S. EPA Archive).