The Closed Loop Fund plans to invest $100 million over the next five years to support the development of recycling infrastructure and services in cities across the country.
Municipalities across the country can now apply for zero-interest loans to build recycling infrastructure for their communities. The zero-interest loans are repaid from either landfill-diversion savings or revenue generated from the sale of recyclable material. Companies that service municipalities may also apply, and interest rates will be below market rates.
The announcement was made to an audience of public sector officials and private sector executives during the keynote presentation at the Municipal Waste Management Association (MWMA) Fall Summit, the environmental affiliate of The United States Conference of Mayors.
The founding members of the Closed Loop Fund include Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Walmart and Goldman Sachs.
The success of the Fund will benefit both the public and private sector. Municipalities will be able to divert recyclable material away from landfills and into the recycling stream reducing disposal costs, generating revenue, increasing local jobs in the recycling sector and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Companies will be able to incorporate more recycled content into their manufacturing supply chain, improving the environmental sustainability of products and preserving natural resources.
The types of projects available for financing include curbside recycle carts, curbside organics carts, recycling facilities (MRFs), and upgrades to MRFs and anaerobic digesters, among additional infrastructure projects.
In other municipal recycling news, in May, the City of Austin became the first city to partner with Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council on their “I Want to Be Recycled” multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign, which aims to motivate Americans to recycle every day. Created by San Francisco-based ad agency Pereira & O’Dell and sponsored by Alcoa Foundation, American Chemistry Council, Anheuser-Busch, City of Austin, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Nestlé Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever and Waste Management, the bilingual multimedia campaign illustrates that recyclable materials can be given another life when someone chooses to recycle.