Closed Loop Partners Helps Bridge Funding Gaps for GrowNYC to Continue Composting Services, Recovering New Yorkers’ Valuable Food Scraps

By Closed Loop Partners

Nov 18, 2020

November 19, New York — Closed Loop Partners recently provided GrowNYC a grant that will fund operations of three compost collection sites in New York City, bridging gaps in funding left by recent City budget cuts caused by COVID-19. The demand for composting services from New Yorkers has grown significantly in the last few years. However, this year’s unforeseen events have resulted in reductions in publicly-funded organics collection services. Closed Loop Partners has teamed up with GrowNYC to help reopen food scrap drop-off sites that will divert thousands of tons of food waste from landfills, creating valuable, nutrient-rich compost for local communities.  

The three food scrap drop-off sites funded by Closed Loop Partners re-opened in October, and are already attracting over 1,000 regular weekly participants and collecting over 7,000 pounds of food scraps each week. Located at GrowNYC’s 79th Street, Abingdon Square and Tribeca Greenmarket farmers markets, these sites offer convenient composting opportunities to Manhattan residents, from downtown to the Upper West Side. Together, these sites collected over 33,000 pounds of food scraps in just one month, with greenhouse gas emission reductions equivalent to conserving 1,435 gallons of gasoline (EPA WARM). As the holidays approach, typically bringing with them substantially higher rates of at-home cooking and associated food scraps, GrowNYC aims to secure additional funding that will allow them to resume operations across all 76 of their original food scrap drop-off sites, helping make composting accessible to all New Yorkers.

“By collecting food scraps from across the city and diverting them from landfills that are costly to taxpayers, we can realize remarkable economic and environmental benefits,” says Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners. “As the city continues to build circularity into their systems, GrowNYC plays a critical role in recapturing valuable materials like food scraps, and we’re proud to partner with them.”

GrowNYC is one of the most established environmental organizations in New York City, engaging over three million New Yorkers every year in environmental programs that improve the city’s quality of life. Supported by recently restored funding from Speaker Corey Johnson and the New York City Council, New York City Sanitation Department (DSNY), Closed Loop Partners and City Council Member Keith Powers, the organization recently reopened 16 of their 76 food scrap drop-off sites across Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens––showcasing public and private sector collaboration toward a more circular economy. All food scraps collected by GrowNYC are composted locally, in partnership with NYC Compost Project host sites and other community partners, including Big Reuse in Brooklyn and Queens, Earth Matter on Governors Island, the Lower East Side Ecology Center in Manhattan and Queens Botanical Garden.

“We are immensely grateful to Closed Loop Partners for their generous support, allowing us to bring back more food scrap collection sites in NYC, following COVID-related budget cuts earlier this year that brought our compost program to a standstill,” said GrowNYC President and CEO, Marcel Van Ooyen. “At GrowNYC, we work to make living an environmentally conscious lifestyle in the City second nature––something that, particularly right now, would not be possible for many New Yorkers, without help from partners like Closed Loop Partners, as well as the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson and the City Council.”

In New York City alone, over 30% of the residential waste stream is made up of compostable organic waste, including food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard waste, which too often end up rotting in landfills, emitting greenhouse gases and contributing to climate change. On a macro level, roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption every year––approximately 1.3 billion tons––gets lost or wasted, costing industrialized countries roughly $680 billion in economic value. Thus, it’s critical that we recapture the value of food scraps, bringing value to communities, the planet and business. Especially at this critical moment, as we face the impacts of climate change in addition to the effects of a global pandemic, it is of the utmost importance that we come together to support invaluable services––especially those that build more resilient supply chains and communities.

For more information on GrowNYC’s compost collection sites, the types of materials you can drop off and ways you can support the organization, visit GrowNYC.org.

For information on food scrap drop-off locations citywide, visit nyc.gov/dropfoodscraps.

 

About Closed Loop Partners

Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity and project finance, as well as an innovation center focused on building the circular economy.

The firm has built an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs, industry experts, global consumer goods companies, retailers, financial institutions and municipalities. Their investments align capitalism with positive social and environmental impact by reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions via materials innovation, advanced recycling technologies, supply chain optimization and diversion of materials from disposal.

About GrowNYC

GrowNYC was originally created in 1970 as the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC). Born out of the spirit of the first Earth Day, CENYC was initially a policy-based organization, writing comprehensive reports about quality of life issues like air quality, traffic and noise. New York City has changed a lot since then and so has the organization. As the largest and most established environmental organization in NYC, GrowNYC is proud to have played a pivotal role in helping New York City transform over the past five decades. Today, three million New Yorkers each year participate in GrowNYC programs.