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Closed Loop Partners invests nearly $15 million in recycling infrastructure across the U.S.

Recycling bins sit at a curb
Many municipalities across the U.S. used funding from Closed Loop Partners to upgrade existing recycling cart infrastructure. Adobe Stock Images

Over the past year, Closed Loop Partners has provided approximately $15 million in catalytic investments to local municipalities across the U.S., financing projects to upgrade recycling infrastructure and services. These investments will help advance the necessary infrastructure to ensure valuable materials are collected, processed, and returned to supply chains at their end of life.

As the circular economy grows in North America, the group of stakeholders that are critical to its development, including local municipalities, often lack access to the funding needed to improve recycling services. The Closed Loop Infrastructure Group's first fund was created nearly 10 years ago to support these public projects and private companies, and since then has grown with market demand, expanding to four different funds that have invested in over 45 different projects to date – from new recycling carts to recycling facilities upgrades, to innovative recycling technologies and more. Across all the investments, the funds have collectively been able to catalyze capital inflow from other sources equivalent to three times what has been deployed, significantly amplifying the impact generated.

Alongside innovative companies advancing new recycling solutions, municipalities have played a key role in accelerating recycling infrastructure improvements across the United States. Often a case study in the success of public-private partnerships, local waste authorities have led the way toward building more robust local circular economies. The infrastructure upgrades financed by the Closed Loop Infrastructure Group have resulted in nearly $40 million in direct savings to municipalities to date, through more materials kept in circulation and out of landfills.

Building on its investments, Closed Loop Partners' Infrastructure Group provided flexible financing to several municipalities over the past year.

The Central Virginia Waste Management Authority

The Central Virginia Waste Management Authority (CVWMA) is a public service authority with a strong track record in the recycling and waste management space, representing counties and localities in the Central Virginia (Richmond) area. Only five of the area's eight counties participating in the recycling program had 95-gallon curbside recycling carts, and CVWMA sought a loan from the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund to help finance the purchase of over 90,000 95-gallon carts for the three remaining jurisdictions. In July 2023, the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund provided a loan of over $4 million to fund the new 95-gallon carts provided by Rehrig Pacific, upgrading from 24-gallon bins and enabling a 5,000 to 7,000 incremental increase in tons of materials collected per year, with the potential to increase to ~8,000 tons per year. This was done in collaboration with The Recycling Partnership, which provided grant funding, technical support, as well as education and outreach for the upgraded recycling program.

The Waste Commission of Scott County

Scott County is the third largest county in Iowa, with the Waste Commission of Scott County serving over 25 counties in Iowa and Illinois and over 185,000 total households. The commission's relationship with Closed Loop Partners began nearly 10 years ago when the commission was first looking to finance upgrades to its recycling infrastructure services. The Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund provided funding to the commission in 2015 and 2018 to finance new single-stream recycling carts and infrastructure improvements, respectively. The success of these investments resulted in a follow-on multi-million dollar loan in 2022 from the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund, alongside the Closed Loop Beverage Fund and Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund, to finance the purchase of new optical sorters to increase and improve the existing facility's sorting capacity. The new loan will help grow the processing of valuable recyclable materials throughout the region, including polypropylene. When installed, the equipment upgrades will provide more than 3.5 million pounds of additional capacity and allow for the recovery of an additional 900,000 pounds of materials each year.

Kansas City

The City of Kansas City, Missouri sought a loan to finance the purchase of 162,000 new curbside recycling carts to increase the City's material collections services, impacting 380,000 residents. In 2023, the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund and Closed Loop Beverage Fund provided a loan of over $5 million to the city, financing 162,000 65-gallon carts from Rehrig Pacific. This upgrade helps enable a 2,000 to 3,000 incremental increase in tons of material collected per year, with the potential to increase to 10,000 incremental tons per year.

The need for investments into recycling infrastructure is critical, given a misalignment between the volume of materials produced and the infrastructure available to recover them, process them after use, and return them to manufacturing supply chains. Moving forward, the four funds within the Closed Loop Infrastructure Group will continue to deploy capital into projects that help strengthen the infrastructure needed to recover materials at their end-of-life and increase the volume of quality recycled material to meet the demand for these materials.

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