McKinsey.org is an independent non-profit founded by McKinsey & Company in January 2018 to have lasting and substantial impact on complex social challenges. Our first initiative, Rethinking Recycling, aims to dramatically improve recycling systems in cities around the world so that they are truly economically sustainable, socially inclusive, and environmentally beneficial – thus accelerating the transition to a zero-waste, circular economy. We focus particularly on plastics and organics (food and garden waste) in the post-consumer waste stream, which together drive much of the waste pollution crisis and its contribution to local pollution and global climate change.
Our program has three major components, aimed at overcoming the vicious cycle of poor supply and inadequate demand for recycled material that plagues most cities today:
1. We improve supply of recyclable waste at the source through better design of behavioral
nudges and collection systems.
2. We build community recycling systems that drive cost efficiency and ethical operations in
sorting, logistics, and processing of recyclable waste.
3. We work to stabilize recycling demand and unlock better pricing by streamlining and bringing transparency to the full recycling value chain.
Our goal is to create a rapidly replicable model for managing waste that cities around the world will adopt.
We currently have pilot programs in two locations: Buenos Aires, Argentina and Bali, Indonesia. We have full-time program teams in both locations, as well as community, government, expert NGO, and corporate partners that amplify our impact.
In Argentina, on the supply and community side, we have been piloting our proof-of-concept in an iconic informal settlement in Buenos Aires, Barrio 31, where we have reached higher recycling rates and community engagement than anywhere else in the city. We now aim to complete and hand off the Barrio 31 program to local stakeholders, and to apply our learnings to a full mid-sized city in Argentina.
On the demand side, we are engaging multiple industry players to explore mechanisms for channeling purchasing commitments into stabilizing markets for recycled material. Read more about our work and see a video of our program in Argentina on our website: http://www.mckinsey.org.
McKinsey.org is an independent non-profit founded by McKinsey & Company in January 2018 to have lasting and substantial impact on complex social challenges. Our first initiative, Rethinking Recycling, aims to dramatically improve…