The Award Winning 1998 “Jobs Through Recycling” Project

The 1998 “Jobs Through Recycling” Project (“JTR 98”) was developed to demonstrate the environmental and economic benefits of establishing regional markets for locally generated waste. Conceived and administered by the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s Market Development Division, JTR 98 became a reality through a grant offering by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).

Location: Alameda County

In 1996, all of the jurisdictions and major material collectors throughout Alameda County were not only actively pursuing ways to meet the State’s mandated disposal reduction goal of 50 percent by the year 2000, but the county had also mandated regional disposal reduction of 75 percent by the year 2010. Additionally, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and Source Reduction and Recycling Board manage a long-range program for the development of solid waste facilities. These entities administer a variety of programs in the areas of waste reduction, market development, technical assistance, and public education. This combination made the Bay Area’s Alameda County the perfect location for which to test the validity of a “virtual eco park.”

History and Results

Recycled glass award plaque for Outstanding Achievement.The JTR 98 Project ran for 59 months, and when the results were tallied the project had exceeded its economic and diversion goals. The results of the project were as follows:

  • Nine recycling-based businesses employing more than 100 people were established.
  • Capital outlay for these nine businesses exceeded $10 million
  • More than 140,000 tons of materials were being diverted annually from the landfill.
  • At the conclusion of the project the planned diversion for these businesses would be more than 209,000 tons per year.

The results of the Board’s efforts on the JTR 98 Project earned a prestigious U.S. EPA Environmental Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2004.


Alameda County and the San Francisco Bay Area serve as hosts to a variety of organizations with extensive experience in business development. The CIWMB utilized the federal JTR program to develop a partnership with local organizations that could recruit businesses and provide technical assistance and business planning. The partners in this project were as follows:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Alameda County Waste Management Authority & Source Reduction and Recycling Board
  • California Integrated Waste Management Board
  • California Technology, Trade, and Commerce Agency
  • City of San Leandro
  • Community Environmental Council
  • The Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence
  • Materials for the Future Foundation
  • Economic Development Alliance for Business

The project was successful in bringing together the economic development and recycling communities to establish regional markets for recovered recyclable materials.


Two JTR 98 Project studies were published at the conclusion of the project in September 2003. Each is available online (via links below) through the CIWMB’s online publications catalog at no cost.

For more information contact: Zone Assistance Regional Zone Contacts,