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Financing Recycling Markets

One of the ongoing challenges for recycling markets, and entrepreneurs, is financing. NERC was among the first organizations — public or private – to tackle this problem head-on. NERC Assistant Director Mary Ann Remolador, who was then Project Manager, led several significant initiatives:

  • Recycling Investment forums (1995–1999) 

NERC was one of the primary organizations that developed the Recycling Investment Forum (RIF) as a strategy to stimulate the development of businesses processing or manufacturing products from recycled materials. Between 1996 and 1999, 43 recycling firms presented business plans to 93 potential investors at the Forums. As a result, 35% of the presenting businesses received $20.14 million in investments. These investments created or retained 221 jobs, and increased the amount of recycled materials used in processing or manufacturing new products by 181,291 tons per year. Four RIFs were held. Primary project funding: EPA.

  • Recycling Financing Seminars for Business Owners (1997–1998)

Eight seminars assisted recycling business owners to understand financing options and secure funding. Project funding: EPA.

  • Recycling Finance Seminars for Business Development Specialists (2000–2001)

Four one-day seminars for business service providers focused on the unique issues faced by recycling firms and the nuances of the recycling industry, which financiers often misunderstand. The goal was to enhance funding opportunities for recycling businesses. Project funding: Chelsea Center for Recycling and Economic Development, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.