Amazon invests $10 million in Closed Loop Fund

© Eti Swinford / dreamstine.com

Amazon has announced it will invest $10 million in Closed Loop Fund, New York, to support recycling infrastructure in the United States, according to an Amazon news release. Amazon’s investment will increase the availability of curbside recycling for about 3 million homes in communities across the country, making it easier for customers to recycle and to further develop end markets for recycled commodities.

According to Amazon, the investment in the Closed Loop Fund will divert 1 million tons of recyclables from landfills into the recycling stream and eliminate 2 million metric tons of CO2 by 2028.

“This investment will help build the local capabilities needed to make it easier for our customers and their communities to recycle and to increase the amount of material recycled across the country,” says Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations. “We are investing in Closed Loop Fund’s work because we think everyone should have access to easy, convenient curbside recycling. The more we are all able to recycle, the more we can reduce our collective energy, carbon and water footprint.”

Closed Loop Fund invests in sustainable consumer goods, advanced recycling technologies and the development of the circular economy. It aims to eliminate more than 16 million tons of greenhouse gas, divert more than 8 million cumulative tons of waste from landfills, improve recycling for many American households and save nearly $60 million for American cities in the next 10 years, according to the news release.

Closed Loop Fund CEO Ron Gonen adds, “Amazon’s investment in Closed Loop Fund is another example of how recycling is good business in America. Companies are seeing that they can meet consumer demand and reduce costs while supporting a more sustainable future and growing good jobs across the country. We applaud Amazon’s commitment to cut waste, and we hope their leadership drives other brands and retailers to follow suit.”

According to Amazon’s news release, the company’s investment in the Closed Loop Fund furthers its commitment to reducing packaging waste through its Frustration- Free Packaging programs, which are designed to produce less waste than traditional packaging. Amazon says it works directly with manufacturers to help them redesign their packaging, eliminate waste throughout the supply chain and ensure products arrive undamaged on customers’ doorsteps.

Amazon introduced its Frustration-Free Packaging 10 years ago, and, according to the company, it has eliminated more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials as of mid-October, avoiding 500 million shipping boxes.

Mid America Recycling spins off Nebraska location

Mid America Recycling’s Des Moines, Iowa, MRF remains with the company.
Photo: Brent Isenberger

Des Moines, Iowa-based Mid America Recycling (MAR, profiled in the June 2018 issue of Recycling Today, available at www.RecyclingToday.com/article/mid-america-recycling-iowa-profile) has announced that its Lincoln, Nebraska, location has been sold to that plant’s general manager. The new company has been named Green Quest Recycling LLC.

Former MAR Lincoln plant General Manager Kelley McReynolds, now the owner of Green Quest, says his company will operate in the building that housed the MAR operation and that was purchased by MAR in 2014 from Palmer and Sons Refuse.

“My staff and I are committed to using our experience and professionalism to create further growth and expansion in the Lincoln facility,” says McReynolds, who has been general manager since MAR purchased the facility in 2014.

Since taking over the Lincoln facility in 2014, management has increased the tonnage nearly threefold—from 800 tons per month to 2,300 tons per month, according to a MAR news release. In addition to streamlining processing and improving customer education, a Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality grant for single-stream recycling equipment helped make that change possible, according to the firm.

“Mr. McReynolds has had many major accomplishments in the recycling industry over the past two decades,” says Mick Barry, president of Mid America Recycling. “We were proud to have him on our team and wish him well in this new venture.”

McReynolds started his career in recycling with Weyerhaeuser Recycling in 1995. He moved to MAR in 1998, to Greenstar Recycling in 2007 and then to Waste Management in 2013 before returning to MAR in 2014.