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It's true: one person's trash is another's treasure. I recently saw a piece on CBS Sunday Morning about a woman who creates amazing art--think DaVinci's "Last Supper"--from dryer lint. But I digress.
RecycleMatch has taken the trash to treasure concept B2B as it brings together buyers who want materials and companies who would rather not send their waste to the landfill but rather reuse, upcycle, recycle or downcycle the 7.7 billion tons of commercially generated non-hazardous materials currently considered waste.
The goal is to make landfills obsolete by making the commodity recycling market more efficient and opening up new markets. This is a fantastic idea with both financial and environmental benefits.
The commodity recycling market (baled materials like paper, cardboard, metals and plastics) is worth $47 billion. Diverting the materials saves emissions --an estimated 7.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide and minimizes the demand on natural resources required to produce new materials.
The program works with a wide range of industries and materials including building products. Here's an example of one company closing the loop on glass others deemed unrecyclable:
"This major oil company takes great pride in their sparkling, LEED Certified 50-story building. When Hurricane Ike blasted through Houston's skyline, thousands of windows were damaged. The company asked their suppliers to find an alternative to landfill for the 180,000 lbs of glass. Time and again, they were told it was "not recyclable" because of the heavy film and special trim. They were introduced to RecycleMatch and figured it couldn't hurt to try. We matched them up with a company that would crush the glass and upcycle it into counter tops and other green building materials."
We all benefit as this concept grows. Talk about a win-win
RecycleMatch was named Entrepreneur Magazine's Most Brilliant Ideas 2010.