Eureka Recycling, a recycling hauling and sorting nonprofit servicing Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota, has received a $9.9 million investment led by RSF Social Finance, in partnership with the Closed Loop Fund and Calvert Foundation.
Eureka, which recently won two five-year service contracts for Minnesota’s Twin Cities, will use the funds to buy additional equipment for its single stream material recovery facility (MRF) along with a new transport collection fleet, according to an RSF Social Finance blog post.
Eureka is a nonprofit that specializes in zero waste. The city of Minneapolis has set a zero-waste goal as well.
“In the last 18 months, we’ve reviewed upwards of 150 proposals asking for over $350 million for recycling infrastructure,” says Rob Kaplan, managing director of Closed Loop Fund on the blog. “Eureka is the model we compare these applicants to because it demonstrates the heights recycling can reach with the right operations and business model.”
The Closed Loop Fund’s participation in the RSF loan is its 10th investment to date.
The fund has amassed millions of dollars from leading companies including 3M, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Walmart and it invests in the form of low-interest loans to companies and zero-interest loans to cities. Its goal is to invest more than $500 million in US recycling projects by 2020. The fund is is currently accepting proposals for below-market loans.
According to its first public progress report, released last month, the fund invested nearly $20 million in its first nine projects, and this has generated more than $50 million in co-investment from municipalities, banks and impact investors.
The report says investing in the recycling industry yields environmental and financial returns for cities, companies and private investors, despite low commodities prices.
Lakeshore Recycling Systems, which received a $1.5 million below-market loan from the Closed Loop Fund in March, is generating a profit within six months of opening its new $8.5 million Heartland single-stream recycling facility. The company, which says it generated about $100 per ton in revenues from commodity sales, also expects to divert more than 1 million tons of material from landfill by 2025.