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CA Dept. of Resources Recycling and Recovery Makes Designation

El Dorado County today announced it has become the state’s 39th Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ), a state-run program that combines recycling with economic development to fuel new businesses, expand existing ones, create jobs and divert waste from landfills.

“With this designation, our County has another arrow in our economic development quiver to attract new business and help existing businesses expand,” said Tiffany Schmidt in the County’s Economic Development Division. “And it helps make El Dorado County a greener place to do business.”

The designation comes as the result of a successful joint application by the County and the cities of Placerville and South Lake Tahoe to the California Department of Resources’ CalRecycle program.

The RMDZ program is an assistance program for businesses or manufacturers that process discarded materials, creating recycled-content materials and products. As a result of the new designation, qualifying businesses and manufactures in El Dorado County will now be eligible for low-interest loans from the State. Additionally, they may receive help locating recycled materials for processing and identifying new customers. It was designed to create an increased market demand for local recycled-content material.

The program helps create jobs, can increase the tax base, reduce transportation costs of local recycled materials, and reduce energy demands as many recycled content products use significantly less energy to manufacture than non-recycled content products. Additionally, facilitating growth of businesses in El Dorado County using recycled materials to create new products can reduce solid waste, and help the County reach its economic development and sustainability goals.

The primary discarded materials that are available in the County for use by eligible businesses and manufacturers include construction and demolition debris, plastics (including agricultural plastics), organic materials such as yard and food waste (from both residential and commercial sources), agricultural wastes from local facilities that process crops such as wine grapes, tomatoes, olives and fruits, textiles, cardboard, and paper.

To encourage recycling businesses to locate within El Dorado County, the County and cities will work to expand and sustain the local markets for these materials, and facilitate separating and removing these materials from municipal solid waste and landfill disposal. Toward this goal, future County Environmental Management Department projects could include the following:

• partnering with a private company, such as a current solid waste franchisee, to design, build and operate a regional green waste and/or food composting facility;

• partnering with a private and/or non-profit entity to design and operate a construction and demolition debris facility and/or discarded household materials reuse facility;

• collaborating with local entities to expand the school organics diversion and composting program to all schools within the County; and

• facilitating or partnering with a private and/or non-profit entity to design, build, and operate a textile facility to recycle used fabrics into a variety of products.

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