The first ever “recycling czar” appointed to New York city is to leave his post to run a $100m recycling fund bankrolled by some of the world’s biggest companies including Walmart, Coca-Cola, Pepsico and Unilever.
Ron Gonen was appointed to the post during the Bloomberg administration and in the two years in the role the Department for Sanitation has increased recycling collections in schools, launched high-rise collection programmes in the city, expanded textile collections and launched electronic waste collections.
On his departure, Gonen said:”When I joined… I thought my biggest challenge was going to be getting the people at DSNY to think differently and agree to implement new programs that change the way things may have been done for decades. What I quickly learned was that the people at DSNY would be my greatest advantage.”
Gonen was previously the CEO at Recycle Bank, an organisation he co-founded, and he leaves the DSNY to take up a role as CEO and co-founder of the Closed Loop Fund which will provide zero interest loans to municipalities to invest in recycling infrastructure, as well as provide investment to private companies focused on waste reduction and recycling.