Closed Loop Fund Announces Investment to Bring Curbside Recycling to Memphis

Closed Loop Fund announced a $3.25 million investment to help bring recycling to Memphis, Tenn.

The city of Memphis, like many major municipalities in the South and Midwest has limited access to curbside recycling. This project is aimed to demonstrate that single stream recycling works in historically underserved communities and that it saves municipalities and taxpayers money.

“The City of Memphis’ recycling program is a core service and highlights our commitment to become a leading progressive city in the south,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement. “ I’m especially grateful to the Closed Loop Fund for its partnership in making this happen. With their help, over 100,000 recycling carts will be delivered throughout Memphis, with expected increases in recycling volumes to exceed 200 percent.”

The new approach where all recyclables, including plastics, are placed into one container is expected to capture an additional 17,000 tons of material each year from more than 100,000 homes, according to a press release.

The Closed Loop Found is an impact investment fund that makes below-market loans for recycling infrastructure. The Recycling Partnership is providing $135,000 in communications funding, resources and in-kind support to ensure that Memphians participate and recycle right. In 2014, The Recycling Partnership provided support for the initial 40,000 cart pilot in Memphis.

The Recycling Partnership provides grants throughout the U.S. to help push recycling. As of November, TRP had provided the public-private stimulus for rolling out more than 117,000 carts to six communities—Columbia, Florence, Ala., Greenville, S.C., East Lansing, Mich. and Richmond and Roanoke, Va. It's on track to have distributed more than 160,000 carts by spring 2016.

In May, the United States Environmental Protection Agency partnered with The Recycling Partnership to conduct a research project on curbside recycling in the U.S. While the research will specifically focus on EPA regions 3, 4 and 5, it will also provide a national overview. For this project, The Recycling Partnership will study 400 curbside recycling programs in selected communities located in the most populated cities across the nation and identify 17 distinct markets for each. It will also study a number of other communities to provide a national overview.

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