The Recycling Partnership Welcomes McDonald’s Corporation to the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition and Awards its 100th Recycling Facility Grant

May 17, 2024

4 Min Read
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WASHINGTON, D.C. May 16, 2024 – Today, The Recycling Partnership (“The Partnership”), a nonprofit committed to building a better recycling system, announced its 100th recycling facility grant awarded to Elkhart, Indiana based RecyclingWorks, Inc. The grant is due in part to a new multi-million-dollar grant provided by McDonald’s Corporation, the latest company to join The Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition (“Coalition”). 

“Since its start in 2020, the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition has awarded $13 million in grant funding across 51 facilities,” said Brittany LaValley, Vice President of Material Advancement at The Recycling Partnership. “These grants have enabled over 46 million people in the U.S. to have new or improved access to recycle this valuable material. Now we can honor their hard work by ensuring this material makes it to processors and is given a new life.” 

“We’re committed to increasing recycling access and advancing infrastructure at material recovery facilities to support our customers in the recycling of McDonald’s packaging products, and this investment in The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition is an important step towards our goal to increase polypropylene cup recovery across the U.S.,” said Kendra Levine, Director of US Sustainability at McDonald’s. “Without proper sortation at recycling facilities, we cannot deliver what we all want – better recycling and a cleaner environment.” 

The Partnership’s Coalition brings together stakeholders from across the polypropylene value chain to increase capture, sortation, and processing of this valuable, recyclable material and to provide education and outreach. The Elkhart facility will use the grant to transition from hand sortation to more optimized machine sortation of polypropylene to decrease their landfill footprint and keep up with the forecasted growth in the region. This is the third grant provided by The Partnership to the Elkhart facility along with previous grant to support increased capture of aluminum and another to support increased capture and quality of PET. 

“The grant provided to our facility by The Recycling Partnership will enable us to install additional optical sortation equipment to achieve higher recovery rate and purity,” said Daniel Zelaya, Plant Manager at RecyclingWorks Inc. “This will enable us to service our local communities plus any new municipal contracts we take on in the future. Automation is the future for MRFs, and we are excited to partner with The Partnership!” 

“One of the key challenges with recycling polypropylene is the ability to separate it from other plastics,” said Spence Davenport, Senior Director of Processing Advancement at The Recycling Partnership. “This grant will address that challenge head-on by helping RecyclingWorks invest in advanced sorting technology. This is a continuation of our commitment to ensure polypropylene can be delivered to processors and stay out of landfills.”   

The Coalition also recently awarded eleven grants to Balcones in Taylor, Texas; GFL in Traverse City, Michigan; West Tennessee Hub in Chester, Tennessee; Metrolina in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; RRRASOC in Southfield, Michigan; Olmsted County Minnesota, and four grants to Casella locations in Auburn, Massachusetts; Charlestown, Massachusetts; Lewiston, Maine; and Willimantic, Connecticut. 

The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition will continue to work with recycling processing facilities and the communities they serve to ensure polypropylene is diverted from landfills and given a second life through proper capture, sortation, and reprocessing.  

About The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition 

The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition works with stakeholders from across the polypropylene value chain to increase access to curbside recycling for the material, ensure more recycling facilities can successfully sort it, and stimulate end-markets by increasing the supply of recycled polypropylene for reuse in new products. These efforts are aimed at ensuring the long-term visibility of polypropylene as a recycled material. To learn more about joining the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, visit 

recyclingpartnership.org/polypropylene-coalition

About The Recycling Partnership  

The Recycling Partnership is a purpose-driven organization committed to protecting natural resources by building a better recycling system and advancing the circular economy. Our highly collaborative model reaches a wide array of stakeholders across the value chain to address the highest-leverage barriers across the U.S. recycling system. With data at our core, The Recycling Partnership empowers innovators and implementers at a scale previously unseen to advance progress at a rapid pace across the recycling value chain. By advocating for comprehensive state and national Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy for all materials, optimizing the recycling system, and modernizing Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) through community grants, technical support, and meaningful community education and engagement, we will deliver on our promise of a better recycling system. Learn more at

 recyclingpartnership.org.

 

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