November 15, 2016 03:23:12 AM
ALBANY (Scrap Monster): Closed Loop Fund has released its first its first public progress ‘Impact Report’.
According to the report, municipalities and businesses in the US have spent nearly $5 billion during last year in order to dispose waste in landfills. Much of this waste, if recycled, would have had a market value of billions of dollars. Millions of dollars were earmarked in municipal and corporate budgets for landfill management activities. The recycling of these wastes could have generated millions of dollars in revenue, which could have been invested in local communities or innovation.
Investing in the expansion of recycling provides real opportunity to achieve strong financial and environmental returns. Since its launch in 2014, Closed Loop Fund has successfully attracted investments from ten of the world’s largest consumer goods companies. The Fund has received over 150 inquiries requesting more than $350M in financing. In the past 12 months, the Fund has invested nearly $19M in 9 projects alongside other financial institutions and government agencies for a total amount invested of $70M.
The Impact Report notes that expansion of recycling infrastructure by municipalities and private companies has led to significant improvements in savings, revenues, and profit. For instance, in less than one year, Council Bluffs City in Iowa has generated revenues and savings almost equivalent to the amount borrowed from CLF. According to the Impact Report, the city recycling center’s aging infrastructure and low tonnage was preventing it from efficiently handling materials. A new baler installed at the existing facility helped to create new revenue opportunities to receive and resell commodities. Also, the installation of the baler equipment resulted in huge savings in transportation costs.
The report states that present infrastructure does not adequately capture recyclable packaging from the waste stream. It also identifies lack of easy and convenient recycling programs in many parts of the nation, which is limiting recycling growth. For example, a recent access study indicated that 47% of Americans still have to choose to participate in a curbside recycling program; 21% only have access via drop-off program. The collection issues also includes bins or carts that are too small, inconvenient or too-far drop off location, confusing signage on bins, old or inefficient trucks, and lack of recycling education and awareness programs.
With the rise of single-stream recycling, sortation of mixed materials has become increasingly important to ensure that distinct materials can be re-sold on the commodities markets. Many recycling facilties have made huge investments in modern sorting techniques. However, an ever-evolving mix of materials has made sortation increasingly difficult for MRF operators to operate efficiently.
The Closed Loop Fund recommends various critical steps to unlock value across recycling systems. It intends to replicate working recycling models by entering into new partnerships with new investors and industry stakeholders. It also recommends helping more operators understand how to implement similar projects and get them done. Closed Loop Fund commits to use its expertise, networks and other forms of capital to strengthen the recycling system.
The Closed Loop Fund is a social impact fund that makes investments to increase the recycling of products and packaging.