PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With Earth Day right around the corner (Friday, April 22nd), recycling was the theme today at Philadelphia City Hall as a number of firms and manufacturers of products made from recycled materials set up shop for the Philadelphia Recycling Industries Congress.

Once considered a fringe hobby, recycling has evolved into a booming industry that feeds a growing manufacturing sector.

“We’ve got 3,800 manufacturers and businesses that collect materials in the Commonwealth, 52,000 Pennsylvania employees, and 20½ billion dollars in annual combined receipts,” notes Bob Bylone, executive director of the Pennsylvania Recycling Market Center.

The pace has sped up in recent years thanks to the widespread use of single-stream recycling, Bylone says, “where all the materials one collects can go into the same container, which greatly improves how much is recycled and also the user convenience.”

Bylone says consumers can find many high-quality products these days, anything from countertops made from recycled glass bottles to pavers composed of recycled rubber.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060

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