Businessman signing checks at a desk.

A Resource Recycling analysis shows that 1,116 companies identified as “materials recovery facilities” and 4,300 companies identified as “recyclable material merchant wholesalers” received Paycheck Protection Program funds this year. | NIKCOA/Shutterstock

Over $850 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds flowed to MRF operators and recyclables trading companies this year, according to data released following a court order.

The Small Business Administration this month released details on recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through Nov. 24, 2020. A Resource Recycling analysis of that data shows that 4,300 companies identified as “recyclable material merchant wholesalers” received $657.31 million and 1,116 companies identified as “materials recovery facilities” received $193.87 million in PPP funds.

The data was released as Congress gets closer to reaching agreement on another bill providing financial support to businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 economic slowdown. A coronavirus aid bill is expected to include tens of billions of dollars for additional PPP loans to businesses.

In July, the SBA released information on PPP recipients, but that data didn’t identify companies receiving less than $150,000, and for companies receiving loans over $150,000, it used only loan amount ranges, not exact dollar amounts. A dozen media outlets sued for the release of the withheld information. A federal judge on Nov. 5 ordered the administration to release the details, which it did on Dec. 1.

Resource Recycling has created an online map showing MRFs and recyclable material traders receiving PPP loans. Zoom in to see regions in more detail, and click on the individual icons for specifics on the companies that received the payments. The blue factory icons indicate companies coded as materials recovery facilities, and the green briefcase icons indicate recyclable material merchant wholesalers. (Story continues below map.)

How much money went to MRFS and recyclables traders

The $657.31 million in PPP funds flowed to 4,300 companies identified under the “recyclable material merchant wholesalers” North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. The money preserved 58,605 jobs. This NAICS category covers a broad range of recyclable materials, however, and involves considerably more than typical post-consumer paper, plastic, metal and glass materials. Recyclable material merchant wholesaler recipients are listed in this spreadsheet.

Another $193.87 million went to companies identified as “materials recovery facilities” under the NAICS code. The money preserved 17,051 jobs. Many of the companies listed as MRFs aren’t what the recycling industry considers traditional MRFs handling post-consumer paper, plastic, metal and glass, however. MRF recipients are listed in this spreadsheet.

(Disclosure: Resource Recycling, Inc., publisher of Resource Recycling, received a $92,000 PPP loan. The company was coded under the NAICS code for “periodicals publishers.”)

Under the court order, the SBA was also ordered to release data on Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance recipients. But that data doesn’t include NAICS codes, making it impossible to sort by business type.

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Van Dyk