This year, three recycling innovations are attracting private capital from major investors: the introduction of robotics and artificial intelligence, consumer brands’ focused efforts on designing packaging and products with recycled content and chemical recycling technologies.
Medium reports that in 2018, the recycling industry generated more than $110 billion in economic activity and $13.2 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. And as 2019 is shaping up to be a year of major innovations, investment trends are expected to grow as the development of the circular economy continues to expand.
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Recycling is big business in America. It has been for many years. In 2018, the recycling industry in America generated over$110 billion in economic activity, $13.2 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue and 534,000 jobs.2019 is shaping up to be a year of major innovations in the recycling industry as it becomes central to circular economy business models that major consumer goods companies and cities are deploying.
Recycling continues to be the most cost-effective option for the vast majority of American cities. The economics are simple. Cities have two choices when it comes to disposal: recycle or landfill. While the value of recycling is generally reported as the amount that a city can be paid for its recyclables, the core economic value of recycling is actually the opportunity for a city to avoid costly landfill disposal fees.
New York City, the largest market in the United States, is an example of how advanced recycling infrastructure and strong local markets create long term profits. New York City has a long-term public-private partnership with Pratt Industries that converts all of its recycled paper locally into new paper products sold back into the NYC market. Via its contract with Pratt, New York City is paid for every ton of paper its residents recycle, as opposed to a cost of over $100 per ton to send paper, or anything else, to a landfill.