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Nathan Associates’  study supports case for clearer EPA rules on PCB regulation

LandfillShredder “fluff” or automobile shredder residue (ASR) is loaded with foam, glass, fabric, rubber, and plastics. A Nathan Associates study concludes that recovery and further recycling of the plastics found in ASR would have numerous direct and indirect benefits for the U.S. economy and environment. Assuming 1.75 million tons are recovered and recycled from ASR annually, we estimate

  • $946.7 million in new spending on equipment manufacturing,
  • $247.9 million in new spending on construction services, and
  • $1.3 billion in new spending on recovered plastics.

The total economic impact of new spending would amount to

  • $5.3 billion in additional economic output,
  • 23,746 new jobs, and
  • $1.1 billion in additional gross earnings by employees.

About half the economic impact is attributable to new spending on the recovered and recycled plastics, and such spending would be annual rather than one-time events like investment in manufactured equipment and spending on new construction.

Environmental benefits include annual savings in

  • Energy (171.5 trillion Btus),
  • Oil (28,525,000 barrels), 
  • Landfill use (52.5 cubic yards),
  • Carbon dioxide emissions (1,75-5.25 million tons), and
  • Water (39.9 billion gallons).

The study was commissioned by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), which is advocating for clear regulations governing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Download the complete study (22 pages) to learn more about the data used in our estimates, the model we constructed to estimate impacts and benefits, and our detailed findings.

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