CHARLOTTE – The City of Charlotte plans to launch Circular Charlotte, a regenerative economic model designed to produce zero waste and generate hundreds of jobs.
Charlotte worked with Metabolic and Envision Charlotte on a study that analyzed the city’s waste stream and found its 900,000 tons of annual waste represent a potential residual value of roughly $111 million per year.
By adopting a waste diversion strategy. Charlotte could create hundreds of jobs by harnessing material instead of dumping it into landfills. The city will focus on four business cases:
• Developing a circular industry based on feeding 50,000 tons of food waste to black soldier fly larvae, which can be converted into pellets to use as feed on state poultry farms;
• Saving of hundreds of thousands of gallons of water by developing a closed-loop textiles chain for linens and uniforms used in hotels and hospitals, cutting demand for environmentally damaging cotton and polyester production;
• Providing entrepreneurs with equipment, expert advice and commercial feedback to develop circular economy business ideas at a startup incubator based at the Innovation Barn;
• Transforming concrete from demolition sites and powder created from discarded glass into new concrete.
“The Circular Charlotte initiatives will help Charlotte address key issues impacting the entire city – economic and social mobility,” City Manager Marcus Jones said. “We fully expect Circular Charlotte, along with the work we do, to help us become the epicenter for people and cities to learn how to experiment, create and innovate.”
The City of Charlotte will roll out the strategy gradually beginning with a $2 million investment into Envision Charlotte’s Innovation Barn, which will serve as a hub for entrepreneurs and innovators to conduct circular economy work.