Encouraging a startup culture in waste and recycling allows new, tech-advanced ideas to be born into an industry that is arguably stuck in its traditional ways. While the industry has seen many startup ideas surrounding food waste mitigation, only a few have focused on other waste management or product reuse solutions, making this industry an open target for startups looking to quickly grow with minimal competition.

Working with the RISN Incubator does not mark the first time that Phoenix has embraced the circular economy. Phoenix has awarded a contract to turn palm fronds into usable fertilizers, launched a resident-focused recycling rewards program and partnered with Cisco and other tech companies to find ways to divert the city’s waste.