Charlotte is the first city in the United States to make a commitment to adopting the circular economy as a public sector strategy. In its circular future, all of the material resources that now end up in landfills will be the basis for Charlotte’s next industrial revolution: the foundation for an era of green manufacturing that unlocks new technological advances, increases local resilience, and supports workforce development.
Our report, “Circular Charlotte: towards a zero waste and inclusive city,” explores how Charlotte can start implementing a strategy to become the first circular city in the United States. We investigate how many valuable resources are currently lost through Charlotte’s waste system, and how these could be diverted into new, high-value uses. We present a vision, co-created with stakeholders from the city, for how a Circular Charlotte could look and function. Finally, we describe a roadmap of actions that should be taken on the pathway towards this vision, and detail five initial business cases that can serve as a starting point for action.