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Closed Loop Recycling

  • Identify the need, and build excitement around the solution

    • Define the problem and how it affects the community

    • Find a specialty recycling organization and, together, build a plan to create volume

    • Be aware of regulations (ex. County Disposal Site regulations) and be prepared to work with local government to integrate the new system

    • Get municipal governments on board by showing:

  • The benefits to their constituents (landfill waste diversion, etc.)

  • The system can work, not just hypothetically (business plan)

  • The potential revenue if the system is scaled

  • The potential government grant money available (IRA)

  • Don’t be limited by the guardrails of the existing system

    • Be willing to innovate

    • Have the allies in place to collaborate on solutions

  • Prepare, involve, and invest partners in the proposed solution

    • Explain the issue, how it can benefit them, and why they should care

      • Vendors and suppliers

      • Local material recovery facility

      • Local non-profits

    • Look for third parties that handle logistics of programs like this

  • Once you have defined a common objective, create an implementation plan

    • Set goals and timelines

    • Start small

    • Launch pilot programs to figure out what works before trying to scale

  • Material management

    • Make clear agreement/regulations for what is allowed in plastic stream

    • Include aluminum – this pays the way, since plastic is a loss leader

    • Ensure existing system remains in parallel with new stream

  • Use your own business experience to deploy the new system

  • Integrate with what is already working (ex: Existing collection receptacles can be repurposed, successful collection methods can continue to be used)

  • Super sacks provide a great way to start at a smaller scale and grow

  • Ensure proper storage space – if you don’t have room in existing buildings, consider alternatives

  • Leverage corporate financial support

  • Apply for grants​​​

Keys to Success


  • Storage space

    • A 28’ trailer gave Copper flexibility and efficiency with material pickups and at a minimal cost
  • Transport (cost) of materials

    •  Utilizing backhauling by supplier (Pepsi) solved this issue

  • Measuring efficacy

    • Prioritizing data collection metrics means selecting partners that are set up for this, like Replenysh

  • Little hiccups along the way

    • Be willing to engage the new program with adaptive management

      • We can’t wait for the perfect solution to take action

      • Iterate adaptive management process and continue to improve the efficiency, diversion rate, reduce costs, and build resilience with new Bottle Loop system

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