2020 Impact Report Tells Story of the National Nonprofit Catalyzing Change to Move the U.S. Toward a Circular Economy
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (May 19, 2020) – As the leading national nonprofit working toward a modernized U.S. recycling system, The Recycling Partnership’s 2020 Impact Report, released today, shows how The Partnership has activated dynamic change in communities since 2014. The U.S. recycling system is the foundation for designing a circular economy where products and packaging are increasingly recirculated through material supply chains with a goal of reducing greenhouse gases, enhancing the recycling economy, and diminishing the impacts of a take-make-waste society.
“As we navigate the impacts of COVID-19 as a nation, one of the tasks ahead is to rebuild a strong U.S. economy in a way that supports people and the planet,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO, The Recycling Partnership. “Recycling will have a central role to play in the process of rebuilding the U.S. economy. Our 2020 Impact Report shows how we’re working with communities, corporate brands, and other industry-aligned organizations to move the U.S. from a linear economy to a circular economy.”
The report highlights how the organization is mission-focused on helping more than 1,500 U.S. communities overcome recycling challenges. Since The Recycling Partnership’s inception in 2014, we have leveraged more than $90 million in impact. The Partnership has delivered new recycling carts to more than 700,000 U.S. households, avoided 251,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, reached more than 77 million households nationwide, and diverted more than 230 million pounds of recyclables from landfills into the recycling stream in the last six years.
Some of the households reached were in Ohio, where, over the last year, The Partnership worked extensively with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to reduce contamination in five pilot communities. As a result of The Partnership’s proven interventions, those communities reduced contamination by 40% and increased the value of cleaner recyclables by $20 per ton.
“We thank The Recycling Partnership and our pilot cities in Ohio for their efforts and partnership to improve how Ohioans recycle,” said Ohio EPA Division of Materials and Waste Management Chief Vlad Cica. “Improving and increasing education, along with other interventions like working street-to-street, help us all to recycle better and show our communities why recycling matters.”
The Recycling Partnership’s strategy for the next 18 months will focus on implementing smarter systems across the value chain, along with continuing to unlock supply of recyclable materials from communities, reducing contamination in local recycling systems, sparking innovation through material collaboratives to make more items commonly recycled, and working with elected leaders to ensure an even playing field for recycling and plans for improved infrastructure.
The current global pandemic has shined a light on just how loosely connected but highly dependent our recycling system is in the United States and has made clear the next steps needed to move toward the recycling system of the future. As The Recycling Partnership has stated in recent reports (i.e. the Bridge to Circularity and 2020 State of Curbside Recycling), fundamental underlying challenges require building a sustainably-funded and responsive future system in parallel to continuing our work on expanding and improving curbside recycling infrastructure. That is why The Partnership is advocating for transformative policy to ensure comprehensive funding that creates and sustains the system of the future.
“One of the things I hope we all carry forward from this time of crisis is the perspective and heightened awareness of how we, as humans, collectively impact the Earth – and the responsibility we have to lighten that burden,” Harrison said. “The good work of The Recycling Partnership, to create a circular economy and a healthy U.S. recycling system, is now more important than ever.”
See how The Recycling Partnership continues to transform for good: impactreport2020.recyclingpartnership.org/
About The Recycling Partnership
The Recycling Partnership (recyclingpartnership.org) is a national nonprofit organization that leverages corporate partner funding to transform recycling for good in states, cities, and communities nationwide. As the only organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain from the corporations that manufacture products and packaging to local governments charged with recycling to industry end markets, haulers, material recovery facilities, and converters; The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. The Recycling Partnership has served more than 1,500 communities and counting with best-in-class tools, data, resources and technical support, helped place more than 700,000 recycling carts, reached 77 million American households, and helped companies and communities invest more than $53 million in recycling infrastructure. In doing so, The Recycling Partnership has created meaningful social, environmental, and economic change. By the end of 2019, the nonprofit change agent estimates it diverted 230 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 465 million gallons of water, avoided more than 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and has driven significant reductions in targeted contamination rates.