November 15th marked the 16th America Recycles Day! More than ever, recycling is something to celebrate all year in Montana. A 2004 study by Montana DEQ found that recycling generated nearly $90 million in revenue, paid over $9 million in wages and benefits, and sustained over 300 full-time jobs. At that time, recycling and composting diverted 176,571 tons of material from landfills or 15 percent of Montana’s waste stream. In line with national trends, that number has continued to grow.
Community commitment to recycling continues to grow across the state. Rural and urban areas alike are recognizing the public savings of diverting items from the waste stream back into the economy. One success story is Headwaters Cooperative Recycling. Headwaters paved the way for recycling in communities throughout southeastern Montana in Augusta, Beaverhead County, Choteau or more than a dozen other communities. All of these entities are now able to sustain their programs on their own through incorporation of recycling into their public works departments, private partnerships, or community efforts.
The 2004 study noted that “recycling in Montana is more than just a fad, it is a real industry.” This America Recycles Day, we see that recycling is more than just a good idea; it is something we all do in support of our community and our economy. Learn more about recycling success stories in Montana at RecycleMontana.org
Mark Nelson, President
Recycle Montana Inc