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Why It Matters

Household recycling can preserve resources and reduce emissions.

As the world continues to urbanize, urban waste is growing faster. Waste production grew tenfold over the past century, and that's expected to double again by 2025. Up to half of all waste comes from households, and in some high-income countries, more than 50% of that waste is recyclable material like food, yard waste, paper, cardboard, plastics, metals, clothes, diapers, wood, glass, ashes, batteries, etc..

Household recycling can reduce emissions by reducing the amount of materials that end up decomposing in landfills, and by alleviating the need to use virgin material and energy for producing new products. Forging recycled aluminum products, for example, uses 95% less energy than creating them from virgin materials.

We need to recycle much more.

Rates of household recycling differ widely across the world's cities. Places like Rotterdam, Netherlands recycle about a third of household waste, while San Fracisco and Adelaide, Australia, get up to 65% or more. Bringing the laggards up to speed with the cities that proactively recycle is the key opportunity. In that push, municipal governments pull the lever on recycling policy, but companies can help.

According to Project Drawdown, if we recycle 65% of total recyclable household waste across the world, that can avoid 2.8 gigatons of CO2 emissions by 2050.

Here are the companies making it happen.

In the Climate Index, we take all of the companies that recycle household waste that are traded on US stock markets. We take out penny stocks whose share prices were lower than $0.50 in our last update. Then we exclude companies that don't capture landfill gas at over 50% of their landfill sites.

So the Climate Index includes the companies that are at the forefront of expanding household recycling to fight climate change. If you are a Carbon Collective member, you own all of these companies through the Climate Index.

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