The biggest barrier facing most cities when it comes to providing the level of innovation and infrastructure needed to reduce waste and increase recycling rates often boils down to one factor: Money—or specifically, the absence of it. As budgets dwindle, missed opportunities to leverage problems in waste diversion cost cities millions of dollars in potential revenue each year.
In 2013, low recycling rates caused cities to collectively spend billions of dollars on landfills and lose over $11 billion in commodity revenue from the sale of recyclable material sent to landfills.
Enter Ron Gonen — co-founder of RecycleBank and former deputy commissioner of sanitation, recycling and sustainability for New York City under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration.
Last week, the recycling maverick took the stage at the Municipal Waste Management Association (MWMA) Fall Summit (the environmental affiliate of the United States Conference of Mayors) to announce his latest project, the Closed Loop Fund — a consortium of large corporate companies that plan to invest $100 million over the next five years to support the development of recycling infrastructure and services.Click to continue reading »