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New, environmental nonprofit Delterra adopts’s Rethinking Recycling as its first flagship initiative
October 11, 2021

McKinsey & Company is a founding partner of the environmental nonprofit, and will continue its support of the Rethinking Recycling initiative.

Today the new, independent environmental nonprofit Delterra announced it is adopting Rethinking Recycling as the organization’s first flagship initiative. 

The Rethinking Recycling initiative was launched in 2018 by to help cities address their waste crisis as approximately 3.5 million tons of waste is generated each day globally. Over the last three years under’s stewardship, Rethinking Recycling has built rapidly scalable, self-sustaining recycling ecosystems in Indonesia and Argentina, including solutions for plastics and organic waste. Delterra, whose vision is a world where human activities protect and restore a healthy planet, believes this groundbreaking initiative has reached an inflection point where it is ready to further accelerate and scale its impact.

Delterra also announced that global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company will be a founding partner of the new nonprofit, providing $6 million in multi-year funding, as well as a $3.5 million challenge grant and additional in-kind support, to help realize Rethinking Recycling’s goal of delivering green, inclusive, and economic recycling to countries across Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Through its proof-of-concept and scale-up programs in Indonesia and Argentina, Rethinking Recycling is on track to bring recycling and waste management services to over 250,000 people by 2022, most of whom had no access to recycling solutions before. Its programs have also achieved recycling rates of up to 60%, which is higher than those of most US cities. To date Rethinking Recycling has improved the livelihoods of more than 450 waste workers, many of whom are marginalized women, by increasing their salaries by up to 200% and providing them with access to health care and safe working environments, often for the first time. 

Commenting on the impact journey of Rethinking Recycling to date and Delterra’s future, Shannon Bouton, President and CEO of Delterra, added, “We are a very different organization today than when we first formed in 2018 as part of In many ways, adopting a new name and identity of our own is the next logical step in our growth journey. We are thrilled that our Rethinking Recycling programs will continue to operate in our new home, Delterra. The team and I are very excited to create the next phase of impact and to deliver Delterra’s mission of redesigning human systems at scale for the good of people and the planet.”

Michael Silber, Senior Partner, Global Social Responsibility, commented, “McKinsey & Company is committed to helping organizations create positive, enduring change in the world and to realize sustainable, inclusive growth. Through, we have incubated nonprofits to develop innovative approaches to the world’s most pressing problems. The Rethinking Recycling initiative has been an important part of our approach to societal responsibility, which includes empowering our people to give back to their communities, operating our firm in ways that are environmentally sustainable and socially responsible, and working with our clients to serve all stakeholders and achieve holistic impact. As Rethinking Recycling transitions out of to Delterra, McKinsey & Company will continue our support of this initiative and the nonprofit.” 

Donatella Orsi, Director of Economic Integration, Ministry of Human Development, Buenos Aires, commented, “Five years ago we embarked, as part of the City of Buenos Aires Government, on the Barrio Mugica integration project, a historic transformation of one of the City’s most iconic settlements. Although hard infrastructure issues were the most pressing ones, we strongly believed that inclusive, collaborative projects focused on sustainability also had their place. Rethinking Recycling’s Barrio Mugica project is one of these highly successful initiatives of our integration project. Rethinking Recycling partnered with City staff and 13 local labor cooperatives to provide the residents with door-to-door waste collection and recycling services: a win-win for everyone. Cooperatives now benefit from the income generated by the sale of recyclables and local residents are increasingly proud of their improved surroundings.”


Delterra is an environmental nonprofit on a mission to create a world where human activities protect and restore a healthy planet. Delterra’s founding partner is McKinsey & Company, and its flagship initiative, Rethinking Recycling, works with communities in emerging economies to build rapidly scalable, self-sustaining waste management and recycling ecosystems, that redirect waste into productive use while improving the lives of the people it touches. In the coming years, Delterra will add other initiatives to its portfolio, all with a view to developing innovative scalable solutions that redesign human systems for the good of people and the planet.