American Beverage today announced Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS) has been selected to receive an investment of $3 million from the beverage industry for recycling equipment upgrades at its new solid waste and recycling processing facility in Chicago. This investment, in partnership with additional funding from Closed Loop Partners, helped support the construction and expansion of The Exchange, a new materials recovery facility (MRF), which will increase the quality and quantity of materials processed including the beverage industry’s 100% recyclable plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
The Exchange MRF investment is part of the beverage industry’s Every Bottle Back initiative to reduce our use of new plastic by increasing the collection of our bottles and cans so they can be remade into new ones as intended. This MRF upgrade will improve services for at least 431,000 households and more than one million people in the Chicago metropolitan area, as well as create new jobs for the community.
This is the third Every Bottle Back investment the beverage industry has made in Illinois. Prior investments provided residents of LaSalle and Villa Park with high-capacity recycling carts to recycle more bottles and cans.
“One of our industry’s highest priorities is to create a circular economy for our bottles and cans. We are taking action at every step to make sure they are remade as intended,” said Kevin Keane, interim president and chief executive officer of American Beverage. “Chicago is a great and innovative American city. It is exciting to partner on a significant project that will serve to enhance its beauty, environment and quality of life. America’s leading beverage companies are carefully designing our bottles to be 100% recyclable and investing in modern recycling systems to reduce our plastic footprint and keep plastic out of nature. We are excited to continue that work here in Chicago and thank everyone who made this investment a reality.”
“Members of the Illinois Beverage Association live and work in the communities we serve and we want our parks and shorelines to be clean and litter free,” said Brad Harden, president of the Illinois Beverage Association. “This investment will improve our recycling infrastructure so we can raise recycling rates in our state and strengthen the circular economy for recyclables.”
“Advancing the infrastructure needed to support a circular economy is a key step to reducing waste and recovering a range of valuable resources, including the PET needed to accelerate circularity for the beverage industry. Closed Loop Partners is proud to work with the American Beverage Association through our Closed Loop Beverage Fund, and support LRS’ work to improve materials circularity and recycling access for communities in the Chicagoland area,” said Jennifer Louie, head of the Closed Loop Infrastructure Group at Closed Loop Partners.
“LRS is honored to receive this generous investment from American Beverage Association and Closed Loop Partners as we work toward continuing and improving our capabilities at our newest state-of-the-art materials recovery facility, The Exchange,” said John Larsen, chief operating officer at LRS. “Not only does this investment benefit the City of Chicago, but as one of the nation’s largest independent waste diversion and recycling providers, it will also help us achieve the milestones and technology to expand our efforts outside city limits in the future.”
The renovated 10-acre processing facility features six optical sorters and other state-of-the-art technologies that make it easier to separate materials and send more through to be remade into new products.
When fully operational the new facility is expected to process around 260 million pounds of recyclable materials per year including approximately 10 million pounds of PET plastic and three million pounds of aluminum.
Chicago is the latest in more than three dozen initial projects that the beverage industry has committed to funding under Every Bottle Back. To date, all Every Bottle Back investments total more than $23.7 million in committed funding and are estimated to yield more than 754 million more pounds of PET and 60 million more pounds of aluminum over the next 10 years.