United States
                               Environmental Protection
                               Agency
                          Solid Waste
                          and Emergency Response
                          (5306W)
         EPA530-F-97-038
         August 1997
         http://www.epa.gov
                               JTR  Grantee  Series
                               North  Carolina
       JOBS
  THROUGH
 RECYCLING
 NORTH  CAROLINA
RECYCLING BUSINESS
 ASSISTANCE CENTER
                                     Prior to the 1994 Jobs Through Recycling (JTR) grant, North Carolina had a
                                     fairly sophisticated recycling infrastructure. The state was home to an active
                                     state recycling organization, many innovative recycling programs at both the
                                     state and local government level, and a growing number of recycling businesses.
                              The North Carolina Recycling Business Assistance Center (RBAC), created in March
                              1995, established a mission to promote environmentally sound economic development
                              through the reuse and remanufacture of recyclable materials. While housed in the state
                              environmental agency, the RBAC employed one individual in the state's commerce
                              department to foster program development. Under the JTR grant, the RBAC set a num-
                              ber of specific goals:
 To conduct demonstration projects in business
  recruitment, business expansion, feedstock
  conversion, and regional aggregation.
 To develop linkages with the economic devel-
  opment community and other market develop-
  ment groups in the state.
 To ensure the program's future after the 18-
  month term of the JTR grant.

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES
The RBAC provided assistance to local businesses
in four specific areas:
Business Management
The RBAC helped companies maintain informa-
tion on markets for recyclables, assess the market
potential for new products, and collect recycling
data for development of business plans. RBAC
staff assisted several companies with the develop-
ment of technologies that use recycled commodi-
ties. The RBAC also funded research efforts.
Technical Assistance
RBAC staff provided technical assistance to help
businesses and local governments develop markets
for recyclable materials in North Carolina.
Assistance ranged from providing training and
educational seminars to conducting research on
specific questions. Research included marketing
recyclables and increasing market efficiency, locat-
ing sources of supply for processing and manufac-
GleSa
 Grant Type:  RBAC

 Office Awarded:
 Department of Environment,
  Health, and Natural
  Resources

 Project Partners:
 Department of Commerce

 Year Awarded: 1994

 Finding:
 $485,230 in EPA funding
 $320,613 in state funding
 $805,843 in total funding

 Materials Targeted:
 Paper
 Plastic
 Organics
 Construction and demolition
  (C&D) debris

 Contact Information:
 Mr. Matt Ewadinger, Manager
 North Carolina Recycling
  Business Assistance Center
 RO. Box 29569
 Raleigh, NC 27626
 Phone: 919 715-6500
 Fax: 919  715-6794

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                              JOBS THROUGH  RECYCLING
turing operations, matching suppliers
and end users through intermediary
services, developing publications and
materials that assess and forecast supply
and demand for recyclables, and pro-
moting partnerships and linkages for
recycling market development.
Financial Assistance
In addition to awarding funding for
demonstration projects, the RBAC
helped recycling companies obtain
financing from a variety of sources,
including state economic development
agencies, venture capitalists, commercial
banks, and other lending institutions.
Publicity and Promotion
The RBAC encouraged the develop-
ment of recycled-content products by
manufacturers and promoted the "buy
recycled" message to consumers. In
conjunction with the North Carolina
Buy Recycled Campaign, the RBAC
coordinated four buy-recycled workshops
and published materials highlighting
facilities in North Carolina that manu-
facture recycled products.

CHALLENGES OVERCOME
RBAC staff overcame several challenges
while implementing the grant:
  Limited staff and resources. To max-
   imize its efforts, the RBAC devel-
   oped an extensive network of con-
   tacts within the state. Staff learned
   who the experts were so they could
   make proper referrals. Staff also
   researched the types of businesses and
   industries located in the state and
   investigated available resources at
   universities.
Difficulty accessing capital for recy-
cling entrepreneurs. RBAC staff
developed partnerships with the
financial community and learned
how to properly interact with eco-
nomic developers (e.g., using the
right "language"). These activities
enabled the RBAC  to assist potential
recycling companies in identifying
funding sources, siting efforts,  and
providing other support. Having one
staff member located within the
Department of Commerce has
allowed the RBAC  to build new  rela-
tionships and take advantage of
department resources.
 By improving recycling
   market development
    in North Carolina,
 the RBAC and assisted
   businesses achieved
     significant waste
    reductiorv resource
  Gonservatiorv and job
          creation.
Difficulty tracking results and
progress. RBAC staff found it diffi-
cult to measure the level of effort
required for assistance. To deal with
this problem, the RBAC created a
tracking database to record assistance
provided. A tracking form was devel-
oped and shared with other project
partners so that everyone could con-
tinue to measure progress with clients.
LESSONS LEARNED
The RBAC identified the following les-
sons learned and advice for new grantees:
 Set realistic goals. Get knowledge-
  able people involved to establish
  goals that are achievable and
  appropriate.
 Know who the experts are so you
  can make proper referrals.
  Understand the types of businesses
  and industries located in your state
  as well as universities,  financial  insti-
  tutions, and other resources. Do not
  expect to develop expertise in all
  areas of recycling business assistance.
 Find qualified specialists. At least
  one staff person should have an eco-
  nomic development background.
  Each person on staff should develop
  a specialty (e.g., one person focuses
  on financing).
 Avoid or minimize turf issues.  A
  Memorandum of Understanding is a
  good approach to defining the roles
  of different organizations and clarify-
  ing responsibilities. Workshops  can
  also help define a baseline and identi-
  fy key players and organizations.
 Understand the long-term nature of
  business recruitment. Be aware it
  takes time to identify prospective com-
  panies and work through the recruit-
  ment and project development process.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
During the 1994-1995 grant period,
the RBAC built a productive and
extensive network of contacts within
the state to assist market development
efforts. Staff worked to build a relation-
ship with regulators (such as permit
writers), enabling the  RBAC to better

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JTR GRANTEE  SERIES: NORTH  CAROLINA
assist business customers obtain permits
and regulatory information. Further, the
RBAC's efforts helped create a common
bond between the state's environmental
and economic development communi-
ties by emphasizing the three tenets of
recycling economic development: job
creation, capacity creation, and capital
formation.
      RBAC staff's efforts
   helped create a oorrmori
  bond between the state's
environmental and economic
  development oomnmities
  by emphasizing the thr<
      tenets of recycling
 econcrnic development: job
 creation, capacity creation,
    and capital formation.
Due to the program's efforts and
achievements (see results below), the
RBAC is now regarded as a leader
in market development,
particularly in the southeast
United States.
Specific accomplishments
include:
Forging a productive working relation-
ship with Self-Help, North Carolina's
community development bank. In the
past 18 months, Self-Help has loaned
$1.6 million to North Carolina recy-
cling companies.
Training more than 130 professionals
through five separate training courses
and educational seminars. Courses
were designed to cross-train economic
development officials and recycling
professionals to increase understanding
of both fields.
Awarding more than $80,000 for recy-
cling demonstration projects. Among
these efforts, P&R Environmental
Industries, a high-tech plastics  proces-
sor, used RBAC funding to expand its
facility by 15,000 square feet and
process an additional 9,000 tons of
recovered plastic bottles, creating 25
jobs with a capital investment of
$550,000. Another business will
reclaim approximately 6.75 million
pounds of polystyrene resin per year to
make tubes for the textile industry.

RESULTS
PROGRAM FUTURE
The RBAC secured $170,000 annually
from the North Carolina state legisla-
ture for 5 years and a second JTR grant
of $104,000 in 1996. RBAC matching
funds will be used to fund demonstra-
tion projects and contractual arrange-
ments with commodity-specific service
providers, such as the North Carolina
Polymers Extension Program. The
RBAC suggests that grantees look
beyond state funding to private-sector
or other funding sources, such  as the
National Institute on Standards and
Technology (NIST)  Manufacturing
Extension Partnerships (MEPs). The
RBAC has jointly hired an engineer
with the North Carolina State Uni-
versity's MEP to target feedstock con-
version opportunities in the state. The
MEP secured a $ 1 million grant from
NIST, plus $900,000 in matching funds
from the state legislature and $100,000
in matching funds from the RBAC.
Business Management:
Technical Assistance:
Financial Assistance:
Full-Time Equivalents Created:
Amount of Capital  Invested:
Volume of New Capacity Created:
     Plastics processing
     Paper manufacturing
     C&D processing
     Organics
     Tires processing
     Textiles
     Total volume of new capacity created
       161 businesses assisted
       382 businesses assisted
         65 businesses assisted
       185 jobs
         $5.05 trillion
                                                                                 14,800 tons per year
                                                                                 45,000 tons per year
                                                                                130,000 tons per year
                                                                                   4,000 tons per year
                                                                                   4,200 tons per year
                                                                                 19,000 tons per year
                                                                               217,OOO tons per year

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                             JOBS THROUGH  RECYCLING
 "We got where we are today because of the RBAC."
DONALD EVANS
Chairman, Waste Reduction Products Corporation
s
                                                WASTE
                                          REDUCTION
                                             PRODUCTS
       Iince North Carolina has the second largest manu-
       factured home industry in the United
       States, gypsum drywall scrap is one of the
       biggest contributors to the state's waste
stream. Waste Reduction Products Corporation
(WRPC) was established in October 1993 to convert
this material and other sources of gypsum waste into
new products for businesses and households. With
RBAC assistance, WRPC has reclaimed
postindustrial gypsum waste to manufacture
value-added products such as spill absorbents,
cat litter, and home lawn and garden supple-
ments. After initial shipment of products in
October 1997, WRPC will expand production of packaged products to 3.5 mil-
lion units per year, employ up to 55 people, and reclaim more than  150,000 tons
of postindustrial gypsum waste annually.
The RBAC provided a full range of assistance to WRPC as part of its effort to
develop  markets for C&D debris in North Carolina. For instance, the RBAC
worked with WRPC to develop a recovery system for the collection  and processing
of the gypsum wallboard scrap. On the collection end, the RBAC and the North
Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources provided a
$50,000 grant to Pitt County to facilitate recovery of gypsum wallboard scrap.
The RBAC conducted a survey of the state's manufactured home industry and
assisted WRPC in locating a site for its operation. To assist in manufacturing,
packaging, and marketing, the RBAC  provided market research, identified equip-
ment used in the industry, and collected other market information.
The RBAC also provided financing  assistance by facilitating meetings between
WRPC and investors from the state and elsewhere. Investors found it helpful to
have RBAC staff members meet with them and show their support for WRPC.
According to WRPC staff, the RBAC was indispensable to their research and
product development efforts. Without RBAC assistance, WRPC would have spent
approximately $70,000 to  $100,000 per year on outside consulting services.
Publications

 Recycling Works. RBAC's quarterly
  newsletter has a statewide and
  national circulation of 3,000.
 Assessment of the Recycling Industry
  and Recycling Markets in North
  Carolina: 1995 Update. Provides
  a snapshot of the recycling and
  composting markets in the state
  in 1994 and forecasts the future
  supply and demand for more than
  36 potentially recyclable materials.
 Directory of Markets for Recyclable
  Materials. Lists 474 North
  Carolina companies that collect,
  transport, broker, process, or
  remanufacture recovered materials.
 Impact of Recycling on Jobs in
  North Carolina. Documents the
  impact of recycling on economic
  development in the state.
 Business Opportunities in Asia for
  the North Carolina Recycling
  Industry: A Market Assessment.
  Provides an overview of the
  opportunities for North Carolina
  recycling companies to expand
  their businesses in East and
  Southeast Asia.
 A Lenders' Guide to Recycling
  Companies. This training guide
  for lenders in evaluating recycling
  businesses was developed by Self-
  Help, a local community develop-
  ment bank, and the RBAC.
 Recycling as an Economic Devel-
  opment Strategy. This manual was
  used to train economic develop-
  ment professionals on the recy-
  cling industry in North Carolina.

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