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Low Ind. recycling rates hurting state metals industry: Hamilton

Keywords: Tags  steel, aluminum, Carey Hamilton, Indiana Recycling Coalition, Carey Hamilton, scrap, recycling, Indiana recycling Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — Indiana is missing an opportunity by dragging its feet on recycling policies, according to Carey Hamilton, executive director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition.

Investing in Indiana’s recycling infrastructure would create jobs and improve the availability of feedstock for metals recyclers, steel mills and aluminum companies, she said.

The state has fallen short of the waste-reduction goals it established in 1990, Hamilton said. The state had hoped to reduce waste by 35 percent by 1996 and 50 percent by 2001, but it achieved rates of only 30 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

At these rates, recycling jobs and more cost-effective commodities for metals production are literally being thrown away, Hamilton said. "The coalition, in general, wants to see advances in public policies that cover recycling," she told AMM.

Increased recycling would make the state’s metals industries more competitive, Hamilton noted. Recycled aluminum offers 95-percent energy savings over raw materials, while recycled steel offers 74-percent energy savings.

Of the 60 Indiana manufacturers that rely on recyclables, 11 consume aluminum and 10 consume steel, she said. Adopting a more rigorous recycling policy would create jobs and help compete with virgin forms of pig iron and aluminum.

Of eight states in the Midwest, Indiana has the second-lowest tipping fee, averaging $3.43 per ton, at landfills. Recycling could help the state to reduce the flow the landfills, Hamilton said.

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