Waste management is a worldwide phenomenon where rising populations, industrialization & urbanization are responsible for the production of an incredible amount of waste. The proper disposal of waste is not only totally necessary for the preservation and development of public health but it has a huge potential for resource recovery.
A waste exchange is a program which promotes the use of one company’s waste as another’s raw material. It is an information clearinghouse for available by-products, virgin products and other forms of unneeded industrial materials.
A waste exchange matches companies having unneeded, usable materials with companies that have need for the materials. This is done by publishing lists of both available and wanted materials/wastes. Listings describe the material/ waste, quantity and form available, and indicate geographic location.
Many waste exchanges in industry result from direct company-to-company contacts. When these contacts do not exist, a regional waste exchange provides both a convenient and a more certain method of matching donors and users. Regional waste exchanges provide information on many products and companies covering large geographic areas, thereby increasing the opportunities for exchanges.
Should Companies Consider Exchange?
Yes, if you have surplus, obsolete, off-specification and other unneeded materials or your manufacturing processes are not dependent upon the use of virgin materials. Waste exchanges can result in cost savings to both donor and receiver. The donor avoids the costs of disposal and the receiver obtains raw material at substantially lower price per pound or gallon. Furthermore, waste exchanges benefit the environment. There is less pressure on dwindling landfill capacity and a net savings of the energy that would have been required to produce the raw materials that have been replaced.