- Memphis, TN is switching to single-stream recycling with a $3.25 million no-interest loan from the Closed Loop Fund.
- The money will be used to purchase new 96-gallon carts and convert from the city's current dual-stream system. This shift is expected to divert an estimated 48,000 tons of waste from landfill.
- The Recycling Partnership will provide $135,000-worth of resources and communications support to aid in the transition.
Memphis has been recycling since 1992, but like many cities, its program has had mixed success and some residents still don't have full access. Closed Loop funded an initial 40,000 cart pilot in 2014 and the newest investment will bring an additional 100,000 new carts to residents. City officials estimate that it could increase recycling volume by as much as 200%.
As some recycling programs have struggled to stay profitable due to shifting commodity prices and other factors, investments like these have been game changers. The Recycling Partnership has been active with small-scale grants for carts and education in more than 70 communities so far. Emmet County, MI received one of the most recent grants to help pay for 7,000 new carts.
Backed by major companies such as Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson, the Closed Loop Fund has even more ambitious aims with a goal of investing $100 million in recycling programs by 2020. So far the fund has invested in programs in Maryland, Utah, Iowa, Ohio, and Illinois.