Industrial symbiosis – sell your workplace recycling

Instead of paying someone to dispose of your waste products, wouldn’t it better if someone paid you to take away your recyclable materials? My Dad, an Environmental Manager, told me about an event he attended recently which was like speed dating for companies except instead of leaving with a dinner date, the the aim was to find buyers for waste generated by your business.

NISP (National Industrial Symbiosis Programme)

NISP is a free business opportunity programme that delivers bottom line, environmental and social benefits and is the first industrial symbiosis initiative in the world to be launched on a national scale.

What is industrial symbiosis?

The NISP website says:

Industrial symbiosis brings together traditionally separate industries and organisations from all business sectors with the aim of improving cross industry resource efficiency and sustainability; involving the physical exchange of materials, energy, water and/or by-products together with the shared use of assets, logistics and expertise.

NISP encourages companies to look beyond their traditional physical and sector boundaries in the pursuit of creating a sustainable economy.

The programme is just and ethical in its approach; providing a creative and rewarding environment for staff and partners, whilst delivering outstanding value to its stakeholders and members.

The programme endeavours to encourage government and industry of the benefit of industrial symbiosis as a key policy tool in helping to achieve a low carbon sustainable economy.

Case studies

There are a number of case studies on the website including:

  • Broken glass from London Underground’s train cab windows was able to be recycled into kitchen surfaces due to NISP connecting them with GlassEco.
  • NISP South East helped find a cost-effective, local solution to the recycling of digipak CD cases (card and plastic parts glued together) through the HM Prison Service where a contract workshop was able to dismantle the  cases producing two valuable resource streams for recycling.
  • The reclassification of 80 tonnes of oil-contaminated metal grindings as non-hazardous, so it is now being recycled instead of disposed of in hazardous landfill, saving virgin materials and costs.

Get involved

Find out more and become a member by visiting the NISP website.

(Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to give you links to the various sections of the NISP website as they only allow linke to the home page which seems rather unhelpful.)

02 Nov 2011 – post now updated with links to helpful pages of the NISP website


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4 thoughts on “Industrial symbiosis – sell your workplace recycling”

  1. Thank you for the piece on Industrial Symbiosis and your references to NISP’s work! We would be happy to forward the relevant links to you if you let me know which you’d like to include. Thanks again!

    1. Maggie, thank you for your comment and offering to send me the required links. If you give me your permission to link to pages other than the home page, I think it will be easier to do myself. Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi – I’m happy to give you permission to link to other pages – and thanks again. I went to a workshop myself this morning which and saw over 390 links or synergies between the 40 companies present!

  3. Hi Maggie, I’ve added the links now, thank you. Glad that NISP is being so successful in helping businesses be green.

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