Highbridge and the Marin High Bridge are two of the largest waste-to-energy projects in the world.
But the waste-management company that runs them has an unusual incentive to recycle their products.
In addition to paying off a debt, the company is also receiving a share of any profits.
“They’re the only two companies that actually own their waste,” says Jennifer O’Brien, the managing director of waste-recycling and recycling firm Wasteware.
In fact, the waste company has an exclusive deal with a company called L-2, which is owned by the state of California.
Wasteware has had a contract with L-L since 2008, and has paid $15,000 a year to have the company collect waste from the bridge.
In exchange, L-l has to make a percentage of the waste collected, and that’s where the recycling company comes in.
For every $1 of waste that’s picked up from the bridges, the recycling facility collects $3.50 in profits.
That’s a huge deal, because L-3, which operates the other two high bridges in California, owns its waste in California.
So when L-1 picks up trash from the other bridges, it also pays the company to keep the waste going.
The company pays the other companies an estimated $3 million a year in profit for their recycling, and the companies then split the profits.
This arrangement means L-leg can charge companies up to $2.50 per tonne of waste they collect.
“It’s just crazy,” O’Briens said.
“And I don’t know why we need a third company to do it for us.”
So far, L&L has collected $4.3 million in waste from high bridges across the state.
But they’re not the only company that does this.
Wastetech also has contracts with the other three high bridges.
Waste tech collects a portion of its waste from each bridge, but the company doesn’t get a share.
“Our waste techs collect all of their waste and it’s all donated to the local public library,” said Kimberly Taggart, director of the public library at Highbridge.
“So we’re using the library to collect our waste and then putting it into the recycling.”
Wastetech is also a partner in a partnership with Wasteware, which collects waste from three high-rises on the island of Marin.
The partnership means Wastetech has a large share of the profits, which it’s using to pay for waste collection at the other high bridges and the local library.
“We’re doing the same thing as the Wastetechs.
We’re collecting our waste, we’re recycling, we have some cash in the bank, and we’re investing that money into our business,” Taggard said.
That cash is also being used to pay off a $1.4 million debt that the city of Marin has taken on.
The debt is owed to the city by Wastetech.
The money will be used to fund the construction of the next two high-rise, but that project will also be funded through Wastetech’s waste collection contract with the city.
The city says it has already invested $1 million in the construction, and hopes to be fully operational by 2021.
“The city has done a lot of good work,” Tagan said.
And that’s why she says she’s proud of the partnership.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re now doing a partnership,” she said.