Municipal recycling programs can turn cities into hubs for circular economy

Municipal recycling programs "are the hubs of the reverse logistics needed to return valuable packaging to the supply chain,” said The Recycling Partnership’s director of corporate partnerships Jeff Meyers.
Burkard Vogt,

He said that “packaging is not going away” and “neither is the demand for more sustainable choices.”

A recent consumer survey in US’ Massachusetts state found that recycling is an important personal value. About 90% of the country’s residents report that they feel compelled to recycle. Meanwhile, the 2016 Sustainability Leaders Survey showed that there is an increasing expectation for companies to lead the sustainability agenda.

There is a strong need to strengthen local recycling programs. With the help of proper support, cities can deliver healthy tons of recyclables back to producers and maintain their link in the chain, and consumers can efficiently complete their journey with product packaging.

Rising population, faltering infrastructure, strapped budgets and no support will leave cities prey to larger gaps in funding. Several cities with sustainability strategies lack the resources necessary to implement efficient recycling programs. While grants and funding are important, providing knowledge and communication tools allows a recycling program to evolve confidently and gain maximum support.

On a granular level, robust recycling is about residents’ curbside experience and a city delivering a valuable service, while on a larger scale, it is about mindful manufacturing resources and aggressive environmental goals.

The call for design and purpose around responsible packaging, recycling and processing will fuel practical and actionable improvements.

“The move toward a circular economy is encouraging for us,” Mr. Meyers said. “More value for consumers, open fields for manufacturers, growth opportunities for retailers, tons of diverted materials – those are all positive in our eyes, and in the eyes of our funders, and city partners,” said Mr. Meyers.

“Positive action fuels shared success, which then begets more success,” he added. “By leveraging investment, leveraging knowledge, and leveraging success, we see a circular win that saves tons of valuable material from landfills, and returns it to its next opportunity,” added Mr. Meyers.

With a drive to collaborate to combat the resource gaps and lack of data, The Recycling Partnership has become known as “the recycling realists.”

The Recycling Partnership, known as “the recycling realists,” works relentlessly to co-create system-wide solutions that have immediate and long-lasting results.


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