In an attempt to increase recycling efforts across the city, the Closed Loop Fund has invested in the transition from dual-stream recycling to single-stream recycling in Memphis.
"Memphis is the first major municipality in the South we’ve invested in," said Bridget Croke, the CLP's external affairs coordinator. "It's the largest city we've invested in so far."
Pouring $3.25 million into Memphis at zero interest, the Fund, a collection of consumer product companies and retailers who aim to increase recycling across the United States, will allow the city to purchase 40 thousand single-stream recycling carts. Rather than residents parsing their recyclables into separate bins and carrying them to the curb, they'll be able to fill a single 96-gallon cart and roll it to the sidewalk.
"We’re excited to watch Memphis become an example and create a case study that proves to other similar municipalities that recycling should be a priority and makes economic sense," Croke said.
The new carts will hold five times more than the current bins. Projections estimate it will divert 17 thousand tons of trash from local landfills and reduce 48 thousand tons of Greenhouse Gas emissions across 110 thousand homes in the Mid-South.
"This is a big benefit to us," said Mayor Jim Strickland, noting that the carts will streamline an often neglected task. "My wife and I both work full time, and we have two kids. Sometimes it's hard to remember to recycle. These carts make it so you don't have to think. They will make a difference to busy people."
The partnership also includes an education grant and resources to kickstart the initiative. In addition to the carts, 100 recycling containers will be placed around FedEx Forum beginning December 3rd when the Grizzlies take on the Los Angeles Lakers.
"We know just setting them out is half the battle," said John Walker, the executive vice president of business operations for the Grizzlies. "Education is key to this initiative, so we will be running public service announcements through all Grizzlies games and through other events at FedEx Forum."
The Grizzlies will also work with local organizations Clean Memphis and Memphis City Beautiful to create recycling incentives for kids at schools across the city.
"Recycling is nothing new in Memphis, we've had an active program for many years," Strickland said. "But we think we can do better."