America Recycles Day highlights the economic benefits of recycling

Tuesday is America Recycles Day, though three Ventura County businesses will participate the following week when they receive ceremonial checks from a low-interest loan program that promotes recycling activities.

America Recycles Day, held on November 15 each year, is coordinated by Keep America Beautiful, a non-profit organization supported primarily by large corporations and public agencies. Last year, the nonprofit helped promote nearly 3,000 related events in all 50 states.

Monday and Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Ventura County General Service Agency commemorates American Recycling Day with an electronic waste collection event at the Government Center Service Building, 800 S. Victoria Ave. in Ventura. DVDs and CDs will also be accepted for donation to a county library. The agency’s April event, commemorating Earth Day, collected 18 pallets full of e-waste, which equates to about 11,200 pounds of material.

Certainly, community expectations are a motivating factor for recycling. If all your neighbors have their recycling and organics carts diligently prepared, and if everyone uses the correct containers for recycling at work, and if all your co-workers invited to social gatherings follow sorting instructions, then do not recycling publicly can seem embarrassing. avoid civic responsibility.

But how do you reach people who don’t respond to such calls? Indeed, how to reach people who are tired of environmental messages in general?

Venancio Anastacio works on pallets at Oxnard Pallet Co. The company is one of three local businesses to get a low-interest loan under a county program that promotes recycling and reuse.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s America Recycles Day website has a good answer. The site emphasizes that recycling contributes not only to the protection of our environment but also to “American prosperity”. It highlights a 2016 EPA study that found recycling and reuse activities in the United States accounted for 681,000 jobs and $37.8 billion in wages in one year.

On November 21, organizers of the Ventura County commemoration are highlighting the economic benefits of recycling by focusing on three companies recently approved for 4% fixed rate loans under the Recycling Market Development Zone program of the county. The program is coordinated by the County Public Works Agency.

The low-interest loans come from public funds from landfill fee surcharges collected by CalRecycle, the short name for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.

All of Ventura County is within the Recycling Market Development Area, making all local businesses eligible for incentives to make products from waste. There are approximately 40 state-designated areas in California. In addition to financing, zone staff help businesses obtain permits, select a site, obtain materials for manufacturing and more.

Sheets made from recycled PET plastic at Pinnpack's Oxnard factory are ready to be shaped into clamshell food containers.  The company is one of three local businesses to get a low-interest loan under a county program that encourages recycling.

The public is invited to attend check presentations for the loans at three locations on November 21:

• At 8:30 am at the County Government Center, a ceremonial check for $1.2 million will be presented to Arturo Gonzalez, owner of Progressive Environmental Industries. Gonzalez operates a mulching business in Santa Barbara and expects to get approval soon to reopen a second location, Ojai Valley Organics. County Supervisor Matt LaVere and a CalRecycle representative, Loan Officer Bruce Quigley, will present the check.

• At 10:00 am, Supervisor Vianey Lopez will visit Oxnard Pallet Co. at 4524 E. Pleasant Valley Road. She will then join a CalRecycle agent to present a check for $535,000 to company owner Beatrice Vasquez. The loan will help the company dismantle and repair more used out-of-specification and broken pallets, turning scrap into valuable standard four-way pallets.

• At 11:45 a.m., Lopez will see product samples at Pinnpack, which makes recyclable plastic food packaging at 1151 Pacific Ave. at Oxford. Lopez will join CalRecycle in presenting a check for $11 million to CEO Ira Maroofian. The amount is the largest loan in the 30-year history of the statewide Market Development Program. The funds will help upgrade equipment and increase the recycling capacity of the large plant, which uses recycled plastic in its raw materials.

Together, the three companies employ more than 250 people and also contribute to the local economy through property taxes, sales taxes, donations and purchases from suppliers, while creating valuable products that individuals and other businesses need.

David Goldstein, environmental resources analyst with the Ventura County Public Works Agency, can be reached at 805-658-4312 or [email protected]

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