independent

Sunday 21 October 2018

Help for businesses wanting to go green

Margaret Murphy, resource efficiency officer, Southern Region Waste Management Office; Anne Murphy, circular economy executive, IBEC; and Katherine Corkery, project co-ordinator, SMILE Resource Exchange.
Margaret Murphy, resource efficiency officer, Southern Region Waste Management Office; Anne Murphy, circular economy executive, IBEC; and Katherine Corkery, project co-ordinator, SMILE Resource Exchange.

Esther Hayden

A new hotline is now available for Wexford businesses interested in getting greener.

The SMILE Resource Exchange has just launched a new environmental support programme available for Wexford businesses 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 now has over 1,500 business members nationally and over 454 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 over €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.

Margaret Murphy, Resource Efficiency Officer of the Southern Waste Region said: 'The SMILE Resource Exchange augments our work in the region, helping businesses attain practical resource efficiencies and assisting us achieve our vision to rethink the waste challenge, promote the opportunities offered through re-use and viewing waste as a resource and ensure we continue to live in sustainable communities.'

Becoming a member of the SMILE Resource Exchange is free at www.smileexchange.ie.

Wexford People

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