Waste has a value through industrial symbiosis

Waste has a value through industrial symbiosis
© nirutft, image #134276101, 2017, source:
All sectors
High cost
Annual saving:
10 - 40 %
Payback time:
0.25 - 3 Year(s)
Associated cost savings: Raw material:
10 - 90%
Associated cost savings: Energy:
5 - 25%
Associated cost savings: Waste:
10 - 80%
Payback time:
Payback times can vary but typically investments made can be recuperated within three years
Total cost savings:
Cost saving can vary depending on the type of synergies/secondary waste exchange system used by the companies
Co2 emission reduction:
upto 30%
Premises and operation areas:
Production building, Production processes, Supply operations, Waste and recycling
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10), Small (less than 50), Medium (less than 250), Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Intermediate, Advanced
What is in it for you:
Reduce raw material and waste disposal costs. Earn new revenue from residues and by-products. Divert waste from landfill and reduce carbon emissions. Open up new business opportunities.
Descriptive information:

Industrial symbiosis is an association between two or more industrial facilities or companies in which the waste or by-products of one become the raw materials for another. This is usually done for both commercial and environmental reasons. It involves a collective approach to competitive advantage through the physical exchange of material by-products. Typical examples of materials sold on to other businesses are shredded tyres, plastic pellets and waste steams from a factory. 

The companies involved may be producing the same things or in completely different sectors. It used to be thought that for industrial symbiosis to work effectively, the companies involved had to be close together. This is no longer the case; although it may not be the best environmental option to transport low-value/grade materials and heat over large distances.

Industrial symbiosis reduces costs and generates new sales for the companies involved, as well as creating significant environmental benefits such as reduced landfill and greenhouse gases. Payback times can vary but typically investments made can be recuperated within three years. The economic activity generated also has further social benefits with the creation of new businesses and jobs.

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