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Climate Business

Climate Business > Sectors  > Waste and Recycling 

IFC investments and advisory in the waste sector encourage low cost, technically viable, and climate favorable waste collection and disposal solutions with energy recovery where feasible. 

Waste and Recycling


IFC's Approach to Waste and Recycling


IFC supports projects across the waste value chain from upstream industry/populations to downstream disposal and energy utilization:


  • Upstream: Municipal and solid waste, industrial and manufacturing, hazardous and medical waste;
  • Midstream: collection and transport; separation and process;
  • Downstream: waste disposal; energy recovery.


IFC’s investment approach is to promote development of waste industry in emerging markets, help reduce costs, and allow the industry to become competitive.  We support integrated solid waste (SW) management approach, with regional strategies to gain economies of scale and drive down costs.


Through our work, we leverage existing formal and informal sectors for collection and recycling, to maximize poverty and social impacts, improve health and safety, and drive gender equality.  IFC investments and advisory encourage low cost, technically viable, and climate favorable waste collection and disposal solutions with energy recovery where feasible.  Additionally, we support upstream waste generation to adopt “3Rs” - Reuse, Reduce Recycle.  




Investment in projects can take place through the following avenues:


  • Most IFC projects are direct investments through project and corporate finance. 
  • Our cleantech venture investing group supports companies through early to growth stage. 
  • Projects may be able to access carbon finance through Clean Development Mechanism.
  • We access concessional finance to enable waste projects in LICs where full cost recovery is not yet possible due to ability to pay or insufficient regulatory framework.


Advisory Services


IFC also provides transaction advice to national and municipal governments in emerging markets to implement sustainable PPPs that improve living standards and promote long-term economic growth. Our work balances the requirements of investors with public-policy considerations and the needs of the community. Since 1989, IFC has worked on more than 285 private-sector participation transactions worldwide and is the only multilateral institution to offer such advisory services to governments directly.


Waste and Recycling in Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services


In many sectors, substantial energy savings result from recycling rather than from manufacturing new materials. IFC seeks to incorporate recycling into its investments where such investments can help improve our clients’ business. We can also help support development of our clients’ upstream waste collection networks where the collected material feeds into their downstream processing operations and also results in better public waste management.


The Agribusiness Sector produces vast quantities of waste streams which are valuable resources. Composting and organic matter can fertilize soil and improve crop yields. Biogas can be generated from animal waste and agricultural residues (rice husks, fruit wastes, straw). Bio-diesel, a clean burning alternative fuel, can be created from a variety of oils derived from oilseeds, cellulosic materials and animal fats.


In the Forest Products Sectorhave helped several paper manufacturing clients develop recycling networks. We have helped clients make paper from sugarcane bagasse and wheat straw. We also support the manufacturing of wood-based panels from low-value wood scraps that otherwise would decay.

In Manufacturing, we invest in steel recycling and have supported several foundry companies whose operations are based on melting of recovered steel. We also support investments to recover and sort increased waste glass (cullet) volumes. Cullet use in glass manufacturing reduces costs of both energy and raw materials.

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