Rethinking waste

More than 200 jobs are set to be created in the West Midlands over the next three years through a pioneering industrial waste reclamation project. Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands is investing £660,000 in the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) in the West Midlands.

Industrial Symbiosis (IS) brings together companies which produce waste – and those which can use waste as raw materials for new products. This results in the creation of new businesses as well as reducing the amount of waste which has to be disposed of to landfill.

Examples of successful IS projects already operating in the West Midlands include a Coventry company which converts empty plastic drums which have contained chemicals into fenceposts and guttering, and an Oldbury firm which reprocesses millions of used vehicle tyres so they can be used as fuel in cement-making kilns.
Ian Bryan, director of NISP West Midlands, said: “Most industrial waste disappears into holes in the ground which is unsustainable and unenvironmental, but an increasing raft of legislation means that much of this waste will not be able to be disposed of in this way in the near future. Industrial Symbiosis is about identifying and using synergies and linkages between co-operating industries to improve resource efficiency and minimise waste”.

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