Friday, May 22, 2009

Off the Record: Trash = Cash

This week I was fortunate to attend a meeting that MA DEP held for professionals in the recycling business community. DEP’s intent was to inform folks about the financial opportunities available to businesses engaged in solid waste recycling and re-use.

The room was packed. Presenters from BDC Capital, the MA Small Business Development Center at Clark University, Mass Development and the USDA Rural Development office shared information about available loans and grants of up to $500,000 to help revitalize, grow or create businesses engaged in recycling and reuse. The possibilities are so numerous it’s astounding. Recycling has gone far beyond paper, plastic and glass. This includes compost (yard scraps, food waste, etc…), textiles, and electronic components that do not contain hazardous materials. USDA is even funding LAND reuse.

It was truly inspiring to see how many people in both government and in the private sector are engaged in this issue. After the meeting, I spoke with several individuals who agreed to interviews. There is a wealth of story material here, and as far as I know, I was the only journalist at the meeting! I’ll post in-depth coverage of the meeting and the opportunities presented there at Conscious Cow in the next few weeks. (Of course, I’m also excited about the possibilities of selling these stories to high quality publications.) Since the business owners I spoke to agreed to let me visit their facilities and shoot their operations in action, I anticipate having some fun and fascinating videos to share at Conscious Cow this summer.

It seems these businesspeople really are living the triple bottom line concept of people, planet, and profit.

Off the record, the bottom line is: trash really does equal cash.

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