Smile Resource Exchange launches hotline and supports for Mayo businesses getting greener

Michelle Green (project manager, Smile Resource Exchange), Katherine Corkery (project co-ordinator, Smile Resource Exchange), and Anne Murphy (circular economy executive, Ibec). Photographs Liam Burke Press 22.

Michelle Green (project manager, Smile Resource Exchange), Katherine Corkery (project co-ordinator, Smile Resource Exchange), and Anne Murphy (circular economy executive, Ibec). Photographs Liam Burke Press 22.

The Smile Resource Exchange has just launched a new environmental support programme available for businesses in Mayo interested in finding efficiencies or new opportunities within their current wastes and by-product streams.

This new addition to the Smile service offering means that members can avail of free expert environmental assistance to identify potential resource efficiencies within their processes, alternatives to recycling or landfill, new product opportunities, linkages with other companies, and associated savings.

Smile Resource Exchange is a national programme that connects businesses throughout Ireland that can reuse each other’s surplus materials, offcuts, and waste. The programme has some 1,500 business members nationally and more than 450 successful synergies recorded to date. This equates to an estimated 35,000 tonnes of material diverted from landfill or recycling and a combined cost saving for businesses of some €6.4m million.

Michelle Green, project manager with Smile Resource Exchange, said: “With sustainability fast becoming more and more important to Irish consumers, businesses are quickly realising that a sustainable business model not only aids their marketing efforts, it has a positive effect on their bottom line too.

“The team here at Smile is excited at the prospect of offering even more in-depth assistance to our member companies. We are currently tendering for the right expertise nationwide with a view to having a panel of environmental experts at the ready, in each region of the country.”

Since its inception in 2010, members of Smile have created lots of positive stories with their exchanges; for example there are a number of hotels that have linked with charities to find good homes for furniture following refurbishments; building contractors linked with playgrounds and outdoor activity centres to reuse no longer required astro turf; hospitals linked with retirement homes to reuse beds; label liners that were previously sent to landfill are now being recycled; waste food generators connected with anaerobic digester sites to generate biogas; waste glass reprocessed for use in the manufacture of eco construction products, and many more.

Sinead ni Mhainnin, resource efficiency officer of the Connacht Ulster Waste Region, said: "The Smile Resource Exchange facilitates our meeting the region’s strategic objectives, in particular by illustrating how better management of our resources can benefit the region both environmentally and economically. The Smile project helps people in business to change their behaviour and to prioritise waste prevention at the planning stage."

Becoming a member of the Smile Resource Exchange is free at www.smileexchange.ie Businesses with an interest in availing of Smile technical support can contact the team on (026 ) 20520 or [email protected]. Smile is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Connacht Ulster Waste Management Office.

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