One company’s waste is another company’s resource

The Mid-West Regional Authority has recently become part of a National Network focusing on the concept of Industrial Ecology, where ‘One Company’s Waste is another Company’s Resource’.  The Network comprises representatives from the Regional Authorities, EPA, Regional Waste Management Offices and Supply Network Shannon.

Industrial Ecology, also referred to as Industrial Symbiosis, involves the reuse of energy, waste materials, products, by-products and so forth. Industrial Symbiosis leads to a reduction in the amount of waste materials being sent to landfills and the creation of industrial and broader societal networks of groups and individuals partaking in a cost saving/competitiveness initiative and green schemes.

The commercial justification behind waste reuse is that it increases a business’s competitiveness. In order to increase a business’s cost efficiencies, its material reuse and recycling, and to create a more cost competitive and attractive regional location, the notion of establishing a coordinated network of businesses who exchange waste, information, expertise and services is very appealing.  There are a number of waste exchange programmes running in the country and a great opportunity exists for setting up a Pilot Project in the Mid-West region.

For example MacroomE, a private limited company in the south west region, in cooperation with the Cork Local Authorities and Cork Enterprise Boards has established www.wastematchers.com whereby Households and Businesses can exchange waste.  In Dublin, the Local Authorities have set-up a ‘Free Trade’ facility on www.dublinwaste.ie enabling households/individuals dispose of no longer wanted goods.

The Mid-West Regional Authority, with the business sector agencies cooperation, would like to set up a Regional Pilot in the Mid-West whereby businesses can avail of a waste exchange programme, similar to that of MacroomE.  In this regard, we have prepared a brief survey that we would like businesses in the region to complete in order to gage possible interest and opportunities for a Waste Exchange Programme in the Mid-West region.

The survey is now available online at: http://www.mwra.ie/Tourism_and_Economic_Development/IndustrialEcology.shtml

and will only take 10 minutes to complete.   The survey will be available online until Friday 11th September 2009.

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