- Rob Kaplan, a managing director of Closed Loop Fund, has posted a fact check of John Tierney's controversial 'Reign of Recycling' opinion piece, which was recently published in The New York Times. The piece "astounded" Kaplan and the group by the "sheer number of inaccurate statements and misrepresentations about the economic and environmental impact of the recycling industry," according to a blog post.
- In the fact check (shown below), Closed Loop Fund disproved Tierney's analysis of pricing in the waste industry, noting that landfills are the "most expensive form of waste disposal," despite Tierney's argument that they're the "easiest and cheapest solution for trash."
- Closed Loop Fund cited 15 credible sources for information that debunked Tierney's analysis.
The Closed Loop Fund, an "impact investment fund" group that has partnered with 10 major companies, recently announced in a press release that it will invest $100 million on U.S. recycling infrastructure by 2020. The group provides zero-interest loans to cities and companies that want to build new recycling centers, and advocates for recycling projects that can make a beneficial impact on the environment.
Therefore, there's no surprise that the fund group was frustrated with Tierney's piece, which claims that recycling is unprofitable and not beneficial for the environment, and that consumers only recycle because of their "emotional need" to do so. The piece received a large amount of negative feedback from industry leaders and recycling advocates.
Last week, Waste Dive caught up with John Tierney to ask more about his views of recycling and what he thinks would be a better solution. When asked if it'd be realistic to stop recycling, he suggested to "make it voluntary for people who really want to do it ... But don’t make everyone else do it." When asked how that would be economically beneficial, Tierney said "I don’t know. I agree with you that there’s a logistical problem."