Comedian Jim Jefferies: “America Has a Recycling Problem”

“Recycling shouldn’t be more complicated than following the storyline of Westworld.” 

Jim Jefferies has called out the inefficiency of the recycling industry in a sketch on his late night comedy show.

As Jefferies colourfully illustrates, our recycling is not being recycled. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that only 2% of packaging is recycled into a material of the same quality.

ReCircle has designed a circular economy solution that ensures your reusable materials are never wasted. Our appliance properly close-loop recycles everything you put into it, producing pure materials ready for manufacturers to use again in new products. For more on this, see our short explainer video which outlines the system.

Jefferies says in his sketch:

“If recycling weren’t so complicated, it wouldn’t be such a big deal.”

What makes the existing system so complicated is that we put all sorts of different materials together for collection. A 2018 study in Manchester, UK found that only 12% of the Greater Manchester population “did not contaminate at all in their mixed recycling bin.”

Once put together in our recycling bins, these mixed or ‘co-mingled’ materials are sent to a MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) where sophisticated machinery does its best to separate everything out again. Despite their incredible sophistication, these machines can only do so much.

Contamination caused by mixing recycling together is the major flaw that currently undermines all our best efforts. The level of purity that the existing system achieves is not high enough for materials to be used again in comparable products, leading to the result previously mentioned where just 2% of packaging is remade into an item of similar quality.

Instead of seeing our recycling downgraded or sent to landfill, the ReCircle system will bypass the contamination issue entirely by keeping reusable materials separate from the outset. The appliance uses sensors to check what is put into it, preventing human error and making sure that users can never put the wrong thing in the recycling again.

In addition to actually doing your recycling, the ReCircle system will also save you time, space and hassle. The appliance flakes plastic, crushes glass and compacts metals, reducing the size of containers and the amount of space they take up. This means that your recycling will only need to be collected every few months, instead of every week, and also saves the need to have storage space in your home for three or more bins in order to collect different types of materials.

The appliance will alert you when it is approaching its storage capacity. ReCircle will provide a free collection service, and customers will use an Uber-style mobile app to schedule pick-up when it suits them, meaning that no one will miss “bin night” ever again.

Rather than being a joke on late night TV, recycling should be a booming industry that does justice to the value of our reusable materials. ReCircle’s mission is to make this happen.


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