October marks National Reuse Month, a waste prevention initiative to raise awareness about the economic and environmental benefits of reusing everyday items and materials that would otherwise go to waste.
An Irish publicly-funded initiative is providing a free ‘reuse’ service for businesses not just for October, but year round. SMILE (Saving Money through Industry Links and Exchanges ) is Ireland’s free, award winning, national Industrial Symbiosis programme.
SMILE provides a platform for businesses to connect and identify synergies which encourages the exchanging of resources between businesses. SMILE aims to cut costs, reduce wastes, source materials, identify new business opportunities and improve competitiveness.
Their ethos is that one company’s waste is another one’s treasure. Recently SMILE has facilitated technical assistance which is delivered by a consultant based in the Connacht Ulster Waste Management region.
Their role is to liaise and meet with businesses, assess their waste streams and identify potential synergies where a waste in one business could be a raw material in another business.Industrial symbiosis is described as “the sharing of services, utility and by-product resources among industries in order to add value, reduce costs and improve the environment”.
Industrial symbiosis aims to adapt the circular economy approach and for the elimination of waste through the design of products, and business models. Its essence is to design products with no waste products that facilitate disassembly and reuse.
Potential matches are identified and organisations enter into discussions to investigate the viability of synergy. The SMILE team then support the negotiations between the companies to allow the synergy to progress and the Industrial Symbiosis service offered by SMILE helps to overcome any obstacles to ensure success.
There are a number of case studies which demonstrate industrial symbiosis internationally and in Ireland, which show how the move from a linear economy to a circular economy is invaluable.
One case study in Connacht with Thermo King, the temperature and climate control company resulted in over 7,200 pallets being reused by McNamara Enterprises for the export of their equine products, this resulted in cost savings as well as the diversion of 14 tonnes of from landfill.
This systems approach to a more sustainable and integrated industrial economy, identifies business opportunities to improve resource utilisation and works with businesses of all sizes and from all sectors. Industrial Symbiosis consultants provide advice, support and guidance to businesses on resource efficiency, legislation and waste management.
SMILE also partner with trade and research organisations and bring innovative and specific solutions to businesses. SMILE is managed by Macroom E, a Cork County Council initiative and is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Local Enterprise Offices, Southern Region Waste Management Office, Eastern Midlands Waste Management Office, Connacht Ulster Waste Management Office and South Dublin County Council.For more information please visit www.smileexchange.ie SMILE Resource Exchange is a free platform for businesses to connect and identify synergies where a waste in one business can be a resource in another.
Synergies are identified through an online exchange platform www.smileexchange.ie and more recently through facilitated technical assistance. The facilitated technical assistance is delivered by a consultant based in each of the three waste management regions in Ireland i.e. the Southern Waste Management region, the Eastern Midlands Waste Management region and the Connacht Ulster Waste Management region. Their role is to liaise and meet with businesses, assess their waste streams and identify potential synergies where a waste in one business could be a raw material in another business.(www.smileexchange.ie/technical-support ) . Businesses that engage with SMILE benefit through reduced costs, less waste, improved competitiveness, access to free or low cost materials, opportunity to connect with other businesses and identify new business opportunities.
Visit http://www.smileexchange.ie/success-stories where you can watch some of their success stories and see how SMILE has benefitted these businesses.For more information:If you would like more information or would like to speak to one of the consultants, or someone from SMILE, please contact Katherine on email on [email protected]. Twitter - @smileexchangeFacebook - facebook.com/smileexchange/