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The Importance of the Recycling
Industry in Massachusetts
According to the Massachusetts Office of Business Development,
Envirotechnology is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Massachusetts economy, with
1500 companies employing 55,000 people, and industry sales exceeding $6 billion. The
recycling industry is an important component of this growing sector.
The recycling industry in
Massachusetts comprises over 800 businesses, more than 100 of which manufacture new
products that incorporate scrap materials in whole or in part. These manufacturers alone
employ close to 12,000 people. Using a multiplier suggested by the Economic Policy
Institute, these nearly 120,000 manufacturing jobs add an additional 50,000 jobs to the
In 1994, Massachusetts' residents
and businesses generated over 7 million tons of municipal solid waste. Thirty one percent,
or slightly over 2 million tons of materials, was recycled. The State has an ambitious
goal of recycling 46 % of its municipal solid waste by the year 2000, diverting 3 million
tons of materials annually from disposal facilities and incinerators.
Massachusetts, along with other
states, created its recycling goals because recycling reduces the pressure on disposal
facilities; reduces the need to harvest virgin materials; and saves energy, water, and
natural resources, as well as reduces pollution in certain manufacturing processes. Using
recyclables can help reduce disposal costs for the generator, support local recycling
programs, and reduce transportation costs for the end user. In addition, recycling
provides opportunities to strengthen the economy by providing jobs in the collection,
processing, and manufacturing of new products from locally "mined" materials.
Given the State's recycling goals, tremendous opportunity exists to use even more of these
materials to support the economy and the environment.
In addition to the services listed, Massachusetts also has a number of tax
credits available to businesses:
- Investment Tax Credit: Massachusetts
gives businesses a 3% Investment Tax Credit against the corporate excise tax for the
construction of manufacturing facilities. The credit also applies to the purchase or lease
of equipment. It is available to companies involved in manufacturing, research and
development, agriculture, or commercial fishing.
- Research & Development Tax
Credit: Permanent 10% and 15% R&D tax credits with a fifteen-year or indefinite
carry-forward provision for companies investing in research and development. This
constitutes the highest R&D tax credit in the nation.
- Economic Opportunity Areas: Qualified
businesses operating within areas designated as Economic Opportunity Areas are eligible
for a 5% Investment Tax Credit; a 10% Abandoned Building Tax Deduction (at least 75%
vacant for at least 24 months); local property tax benefits; and priority status for state
Contact the Massachusetts Office of Business Development for more
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Chelsea Center for Recycling and Economic Development