L’Oréal USA Helps to Launch The Recycling Partnership’s Small Town Access Fund

(Credit: The Recycling Partnership)

L’Oréal USA has announced that it is a founding donor of the Recycling Partnership’s recently launched Small Town Access Fund, a funding stream to support recycling programs in US towns with populations of less than 50,000. Impact from seed funding is estimated to bring new or improved access and education to nearly 45,000 households in nine states, which will deliver more than 6 million pounds of new recyclables into the system and out of landfills per year.

According to The Partnership’s Paying It Forward report, four in 10 single-family residents lack equitable recycling access – equating to more than 40 million people who do not have the same access to recycling service as they have to their trash service. Small and rural communities often face unique challenges when it comes to implementing and maintaining robust recycling programs. Common issues include lack of dedicated recycling staff, geographic challenges, including long distances from homes to Materials Recovery Facilities, and financial limitations due to lower population density and the higher per-household collections costs that can be associated with smaller programs. Additionally, many small communities without curbside recycling systems rely on drop-off locations for recycling, presenting a different set of education and maintenance issues than curbside access programs.

The Small Town Access Fund was launched with a founding donation from L’Oréal USA, in partnership with GlobalGiving, with additional support from their Maybelline New York brand as well as Arconic Foundation. In its first year, the Fund is launching 14 projects in 9 states – Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin – with several others in the pipeline for 2023 and beyond.

When funding is combined with additional grants, or when recycling efforts in small communities are aligned with those in nearby towns, the resulting resources and scale can transform the recycling system regionally and potentially statewide. For example, The Partnership leveraged multiple cart grants in New Jersey – one of which was part of the Small Town Access Fund – along with a Partnership material coalition grant for expanded processing capacity to capture nearly 7 million new pounds of recyclables annually and ensure that programs in the region can successfully accept and process common recyclable materials. In addition to material gains, recycling also delivers economic benefits to communities and residents – according to the EPA, 1.17 jobs are created for every ton of material recycled; over 600,000 people are directly employed by recycling in the US today.

In the past year, L’Oréal Group has also achieved carbon neutrality in its North Asia Zone across all operated sites, plants, distribution centers, offices and research & innovation centers spanning five geographic markets of Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. 

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