The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Closed Loop Fund (CLF) today unveiled an historic statewide, public-private partnership targeting a $5 million investment in recycling infrastructure in Connecticut in 2018. This statewide program follows Closed Loop Fund’s successful investment in Waterbury, CT in 2017.
“In challenging budgetary times, public-private partnerships such as this one assist DEEP in meeting our mission of protecting Connecticut's environment,” said DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee. “One of the easier things individuals can do to help our planet is to recycle, and these funds will go a long way towards increasing recycling rates across our state. We are grateful to the Closed Loop Fund for their assistance in putting Connecticut at the forefront of recycling efforts nationwide.”
CLF invests in municipalities and private companies developing new technologies aimed at eliminating packaging waste; or the development of new or improved recycling technologies for projects designed to improve recycling rates, increase demand for products made from recycled content, and grow existing markets and create new markets for recycled material for which conventional sources of funding are unavailable. In April 2017, CLF released a case study detailing the success of a partnership with and a $10.75 million investment in new infrastructure in municipalities in Scott County, Iowa — less than a year into the partnership, Scott County saw a 61 percent increase in recycling and generated $100,000 in savings and revenue.
CLF’s first partnership in Connecticut began in Waterbury in 2017 in an effort to increase the city’s recycling rate from 6 percent to 25 percent in three years. CLF financed the purchase of recycling trucks as well as 95-gallon recycling containers for every household in the city. Early returns show that Waterbury’s recycling rate doubled in the first month of the new program.
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The latest investment will come in the form of 0 percent loans to municipalities and below-market loans to private companies with substantial business operations in Connecticut. DEEP will assist in the identification and initial due diligence screening for applicants. Closed Loop Fund will make the final evaluation on funding projects.
CLF aims to invest $100 million by 2020 with the goal to create economic value for cities by increasing recycling rates in communities across America, bringing together the world’s largest consumer product, retail and financial companies committed to finding a national solution to divert waste from landfills into the recycling stream, for reuse in the manufacturing supply chain. Key supporters include 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Keurig Green Mountain, Nestlé Waters North America, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Walmart.
“Nestlé Waters North America is proud to be a partner of the Closed Loop Fund,” said Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer at Nestlé Waters North America. “We must close the recycling gap in the United States if the transition to the circular economy is going to become a reality. This new $5 million commitment in our home state of Connecticut is the type of investment necessary to improve recycling rates, and better ensure that recyclable commodities are captured and reused. This type of investment can also create jobs while preserving and conserving the environment.”
In addition to its work with municipalities, Closed Loop Partners is also leading projects such as the Closed Loop Ocean initiative, which seeks to develop a new funding mechanism to prevent plastic from leaking into the world’s oceans.