Companies post details of waste they have available and companies in the market for a product that is another industry’s waste can scan the listings.

Rank Xerox is among the companies which have become members of Waste Exchange UK, which ran as a pilot scheme last year in Gloucestershire and has since expanded nationwide.

The site is the brainchild of 23-year old James Hygate, whose family has a background in waste management and whose studies for a Masters degree in Environmental Assessment and Management led him to create the automated, online method for companies to sell some of their waste instead of recycling or disposing of it.

County and regional waste sub-exchanges are being developed, which Hygate believes will be well suited for the exchange of low-value waste. At the moment, the region with the greatest number of ‘materials available’ listings is Gloucestershire, due to Waste Exchange UK’s origins in the county.

One Waste Exchange UK success story is ABM Storage, which is able to purchase packaging waste that it can use in its own storage business or sell on to others. Another successful transaction involved a company with 1000 surplus tyres and another with 260 tonnes of surplus soil selling their waste to a third company that used soil and tyres to build a 120m retaining wall.

“We act as a matchmaker,” says Hygate, who particularly wants to see more waste buyers using the site. There are currently 800 listings for materials either ‘wanted’ or ‘available’.

It’s free to post and view Waste Exchange UK’s listings, but only members can engage in a transaction. Membership costs between £45 and £500 depending on company size.

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