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Clean Loop Recycling Center: A First of Its Kind in Buffalo

The City of Buffalo prides itself on its recycling. At the same time, there are those that question if recycling pick-up rates equate to production of new beverage containers. Similar to how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.

Collecting bottles and cans, transforming them into new beverage containers, and putting them back into use forms a closed ‘loop.’

Actually, they did eventually figure out that it takes around 1000 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. And now there is a new type of container collecting and recycling center that has come to Buffalo, which means that there is an actual way to tell if the containers are being successfully salvaged and reused. The system – Clean Loop Recycling Center, operated by TOMRA of North America – is considered ‘the future of neighborhood recycling’ throughout the US. This modern bottle and can redemption center features:

  • Reverse vending solutions
  • Digital technology
  • A clean, simple recycling experience
  • Easy, fast and touch-free recycling
  • A new generation of solutions and automated processing

This hands-free, technologically advanced system is able to count and sort up to 300 containers at once. This makes the experience speedy as well as accurate. According to the team at TOMRA North America, since there is no cross contamination with other products, the process is more reliable.

But more than anything else, the process is impactful, as it implements “a continuous six-step cycle where containers are manufactured, filled, purchased, returned, sorted, and processed into new beverage containers.” That technology equates to what is considered ‘a closed loop.’

Every year, about 1.4 trillion cans and bottles are used worldwide. While some of these containers are recycled, too many of them end up in our streets, oceans and landfills.

“Buffalo is the perfect community for this world-class recycling initiative,” said Andy Hollyer, President and CEO, TOMRA North America. “The City of Good Neighbors is experiencing a renaissance, and there is palpable excitement to achieve great things and to give back to others. With the Clean Loop Recycling Center, we look forward to seeing the people of Buffalo bring meaningful change that launches a new way to recycle in the U.S. – starting right here in this special community.”

“This center is an opportunity for people to get out and make a meaningful impact on the community and environment,” said Jason Becker, Facilities Manager of the Buffalo Clean Loop Recycling Center. “We want to provide Buffalonians with a fast, friendly and accurate way to get their deposit refund and get on with their day. Recycling can be fun, and it should be a rewarding experience.”

Through December 31, 2020 – customers can also choose to donate their deposit refund to FeedMore WNY.

To that end, customers can download the myTOMRA app that tracks payouts, earns badges, and creates a community of recyclers. There are also ways to enhance the experience with e-payouts through PayPal and gamification. It’s the perfect recycling initiative that has launched in Buffalo.

“Buffalo has a proud and fearless commitment to innovate,” continued Becker. “With an economic resurgence, growing tech community, and sizable investment and construction, it is the ideal place to start a nationwide movement.”

To maintain a safe and healthy environment, the Clean Loop Recycling Center closely follows all COVID-19 guidelines from local, state and federal authorities. As part of this, the facility also features an exterior, touch-free “BagDrop” solution for depositing containers in bulk. Visitors can enhance their recycling experience by downloading the myTOMRA app, available through the App Store and Google Play. The Clean Loop Recycling Center is located at 88 Botsford Place, with access via 1941 Elmwood Avenue. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To learn more, visit

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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