1 Million+ Recycling Carts Delivered 

In 2021, we eclipsed the milestone of placing more than 1 million curbside recycling carts nationwide!  

The milestone was surpassed through the groundbreaking $10 million public-private partnership that is delivering nearly 200,000 recycling carts in Baltimore. The City is one of more than 35 communities that have benefited from a Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant this year. All together these communities will be capturing nearly 120 million new pounds of valuable recyclables each year.

A Number of Firsts

Working on the ground with nearly 130 communities in 2021, together we’ve leveraged more than $23 million in granting initiatives to reach more than 4 million households and collect more than ​​237 million new pounds of valuable recyclables. This year, there were three granting firsts for The Recycling Partnership, including the first fully carted community in California, the first recycling cart grant to a Colorado community, and the first granting initiative to support single-family curbside recycling in New York State.

Scaling to Meet Unique Statewide Needs

This year we continued and enhanced our partnership with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). Together, we leveraged The Partnership’s nationally acclaimed Feet on the Street cart-tagging program to significantly reduce contamination by as much as 44% across more than 100 Michigan communities. That partnership will continue in 2022 with an additional $1.3 million in granting initiatives for curbside and drop-off recycling programs. Other statewide work continues in Ohio while new projects are underway in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

Community Highlights 

2021 community highlights included Washington, D.C.’s recycling program leveraging The Partnership's Feet on the Street cart-tagging recycling education campaign. With support from The Partnership, the program decreased contamination from 33% to 11%, putting the District on track to meet Mayor Bowser’s Zero-Waste goal of 80% waste diversion by 2032.

In addition to implementing proven best practices in recycling programs nationwide - two of which - Orlando and Sheboygan - were highlighted in recent reports by the United States Conference of Mayors, we partnered with more than 11 communities, haulers, and properties to execute a $1 million+ portfolio of multifamily work impacting more than 650,000 U.S. households. That work culminated in the launch of a Multifamily Recycling Guide and Community Toolkit featuring FREE customizable resources and templates for communities to use in their outreach to multifamily property owners, managers, and residents.

Engaging the Full Recycling Supply Chain

2021 was the first anniversary of The Recycling Partnership’s first granting initiative to improve polypropylene curbside recycling. In its first year, The Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition awarded $4.2 million in equipment grants  to 13 recycling facilities, expanding polypropylene recycling to 15 million U.S. residents. By improving polypropylene recycling access by 6% nationwide, the initiative is expected to capture 13 million pounds of the valuable No. 5 plastic each year.

With the launch of a first-of-its-kind granting initiative supporting an increase in successful used beverage can (UBC) capture at five Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), 4 million more aluminum beverage cans will be recycled annually.

So far in 2021, polypropylene and can capture grants to MRFs have enabled system interventions in both Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Absecon, New Jersey, where The Partnership expanded convenient access to curbside recycling, delivering recycling carts and improving the recovery process for valuable materials. 

2021’s Most Downloaded Tools & Resources for Recycling Programs [+ More]

Recycling Coordinators: Make Your Year-End Gift to the Planet - Plant a Tree

Before you sign off at the end of the year, there’s an opportunity to Plant a Tree through the Municipal Measurement Program (MMP). They’ve partnered with One Tree Planted to offer each municipality, county, or regional government agency in the MMP a free tree planted if they complete the three core surveys by December 31, 2021. The MMP provides its members with a free, efficient materials management program analysis and planning tool. The benefits of participating can be found here and any municipality, county, or regional government agency not already a member can apply here.
Thank you to our Funding Partners for their continued support.

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